Blog of Rights

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...

Texas Court Upholds Death Sentence of Innocent Man Although "There is Something Very Wrong" with Case Against Him

Texas Court Upholds Death Sentence of Innocent Man Although "There is Something Very Wrong" with Case Against Him

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:06am

With an opinion yesterday from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, ACLU client Max Soffar moves a step closer to an unjust execution.  And, little more than one year after the execution of Troy Davis, our system moves closer to another miscarriage…

Justice for Reggie Clemons: Not Another Troy Davis

Justice for Reggie Clemons: Not Another Troy Davis

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 5:02pm

Monday, a “special master” in St. Louis begins review of the case of Reggie Clemons to determine if his trial was fair and his death sentence is just.   Reggie Clemons is on Missouri’s death row for murders he did not commit.

Death Penalty Abolition Movement “To See Sunny Days”

Death Penalty Abolition Movement “To See Sunny Days”

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:29am

On July 3, U.N. delegates and NGO representatives from around the world gathered at the U.N. Headquarters in New York for an invigorating conference entitled “Moving Away From the Death Penalty - Lessons from National Experiences.” Panelists,…

Race Contributes to Wrongful Convictions

By Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:28am

An unusual collection of advocates, exonerated men and a crime victim gathered this week in Raleigh, North Carolina, to highlight the role that race plays in wrongful convictions. The group filed an amicus brief in the case of Melvin White, an…

A Personal Reflection on McCleskey v. Kemp

A Personal Reflection on McCleskey v. Kemp

By Diann Rust-Tierney

April 22 marked the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in McCleskey v. Kemp, in which the Court ruled that a defendant cannot rely upon statistical evidence of systemic racial bias to prove his death sentence…

If a Lawyer Stole $5 From a Client...

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 5:25pm

"If a lawyer stole $5 from a client, he would probably be prosecuted and might even go to jail — but that prosecutor stole 18 years of my life and what happened to him? Nothing."

This from John Thompson last night in New…

VIDEO: African-Americans Excluded From Capital Case Juries

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 1:54pm

Laverne Keys, a longtime North Carolinian who wished to do her civic duty by serving on a jury, believes she was excluded from service because she is black. “It made me feel like I was back in 1960, that racism is still very much alive. It…

$4 Billion Since 1978 — Time to Cut California's Death Penalty

By James Clark, ACLU of Southern California at 5:39pm

The Los Angeles Times reports new data in a study to be released next week on California’s death penalty has revealed that the price tag for death is even higher than we thought: $4 billion since 1978. Put another way, we spend $184 million…