Blog of Rights

The Red River Bridge

30 Years a Prisoner

By Angel Harris, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:08pm
12 Years a Slave was painful to watch, perhaps the only comfort being that you could walk out of the movie theater into 2014, where such cruelty is ostensibly a thing of the past.
In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

For just over three years, it looked like North Carolina was going to pull out in front of states that still have the death penalty...

Judges Still Free to Ignore Juries in Alabama

Judges Still Free to Ignore Juries in Alabama

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:46am

Picture a death row trial in Alabama. The twelve jury members have spent days, maybe even weeks, listening to testimony and evidence about the crime, the defendant, and his life. They are sent back to a room to make the difficult decision whether the…

What the Prison Hunger Strikes Mean for an Architect: There Are Some Buildings that Never Should Have Been Built

What the Prison Hunger Strikes Mean for an Architect: There Are Some Buildings that Never Should Have Been Built

By Raphael Sperry, President, Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility at 2:06pm

From Guantanamo Bay to California's Pelican Bay, thousands of prisoners are on hunger strike...

U.N. Flag

U.S. Human Rights Record Undergoes International Scrutiny

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:25pm

This week, the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review U.S. compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the U.S. in 1992. The review will cast light on a dark underbelly of American…

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

Victory! An Innocent Man's Journey from Death Row to Freedom

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:19am

For the last five years, I have been representing an innocent man.

I first met Montez Spradley on Alabama's death row in 2008. From that very first day, he vigorously maintained his innocence of the crime that landed him there: the 2004 murder…

­Executing Human Dignity: U.S. Death Penalty System Dominates IACHR Report

­Executing Human Dignity: U.S. Death Penalty System Dominates IACHR Report

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:09pm

According to a recent Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report on the death penalty in the Americas, the United States stands out as an outlier in a region that has come close to abolishing the death penalty. This report will be officially…

How Racial Bias Corrupts Juries

How Racial Bias Corrupts Juries

By Barry Scheck, Co-Director, The Innocence Project at 8:56am

This piece originally appeared on Salon.

Earlier this month, Glenn Ford, an African-American man, walked out of the Louisiana State Penitentiary after spending thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. One of the most important…

Celebrities, the Police, and Surreptitious DNA Collection

Celebrities, the Police, and Surreptitious DNA Collection

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:54am

Actress Mia Farrow made gossip-news headlines this week when, asked by Vanity Fair whether her former husband Frank Sinatra was the father of her son Ronan, rather than Woody Allen as broadly understood, she replied, “possibly.” She said that no…

Former Death Row Prisoner Speaks Out Against Solitary, Capital Punishment

Former Death Row Prisoner Speaks Out Against Solitary, Capital Punishment

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:07pm

Montez Spradley spent three-and-a-half years on death row in Alabama for a murder he did not commit...