Blog of Rights

Death Penalty Unconstitutional, Says Justice Stevens

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:21pm
On Wednesday, retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gave an interview at the annual conference of the 5th Judicial Circuit in Chicago, and explained his changed view on the death penalty.

Death Penalty Maintains Racial Inequality

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:10am

The inauguration of Barack Obama, one day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, has prompted a healthy discussion in the nation about racial and socioeconomic inequality.

As part of that discussion it is important to point out that, just like the…

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…

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, Director, 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...

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.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 6:09pm

This week, Northwestern and the University of Michigan law schools released a National Registry of Exonerations, a new database chronicling the ever-growing number of exonerees from our nation’s criminal justice system.   The database…

When Junk Science is a Life-or-Death Matter

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:52pm

Yesterday, three different groups asked the Supreme Court to step in and restore fairness and reliability to death penalty trials involving so-called "expert" testimony about future dangerousness. For Texas juries, the "future…

Report Finds Racially-Biased Jury Selection in the South

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 11:25am

A new report (PDF) out yesterday by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) finds that in the South, African-Americans are routinely excluded from juries, especially in serious criminal trials and death penalty cases. The New York Times reports:

While…
Missouri Lies About Lethal Injection, Still Puts a Man to Death

Missouri Lies About Lethal Injection, Still Puts a Man to Death

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:14pm

We know almost nothing about how Earl Ringo Jr. was executed in the early hours of the morning by the State of Missouri. Missouri deliberately hid crucial facts about its lethal injection drugs and their administration, blocking the public from understanding…