Blog of Rights

"Hands Off Our DNA" Lawsuit Gets Another Day in Court

"Hands Off Our DNA" Lawsuit Gets Another Day in Court

By Michael Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 2:22pm

Last week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said it would rehear the ACLU of Northern California's lawsuit challenging a California law that mandates that DNA is collected from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony.

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…

Why Have a Jury?

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:52pm

In Alabama, as we’ve discussed here before, elected judges have the authority to override the jury’s sentencing decision in death penalty cases – in other words, a judge can sentence a person to die even if a jury of his or her…

New "Fast Track" Death Appeal Rules Still Fall Far Short of Goal of Providing Quality Counsel

By Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:04pm

One familiar argument in the debate about the death penalty goes something like this: supporters of capital punishment say "defense attorneys just try to delay executions with endless appeals."

Opponents of the death penalty reply:…

It Ain't Where You're From, It's Where You're At

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 12:11pm

One of the greatest rappers of all-time, Rakim said: "it ain't where you're from/it's where you're at." This statement is magnified when discussing capital punishment. Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that…

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...

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...

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

By Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

Last week, North Carolina state Judge Gregory Weeks issued a sweeping ruling setting aside the death sentences of three North Carolina prisoners...

Project Liberty Takes on Indigent Defense

Project Liberty Takes on Indigent Defense

By Lauren Alexander, ACLU of New York at 11:19am

Project Liberty, the New York Civil Liberties Union very own television show, is back and broadcasting across New York State. Our fourth episode highlights the NYCLU’s relentless fight to guarantee that New York’s criminal justice system…