Blog of Rights

Forty Years after Furman: Still "Fastened to the Obsolete"

Forty Years after Furman: Still "Fastened to the Obsolete"

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 11:15am
We celebrate this day 40 years ago, when the Supreme Court, in Furman v. Georgia, declared the death penalty unconstitutional.

Time to Confess Error on the Death Penalty

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 4:16pm

Yesterday at the Supreme Court, a New Orleans prosecutor defended the conviction of a man despite the admitted failure of her office to turn over evidence they were required to provide to his defense team. This fraudulently obtained conviction was…

Let an Innocent Man Spend His Last Days at Home

Let an Innocent Man Spend His Last Days at Home

By Barry Scheck, Co-Director, The Innocence Project at 11:39am

This piece originally appeared at the Texas Tribune.

Max Soffar, an innocent man on death row in Texas, has just a few months to live.

He's dying of liver cancer, and his last wish is to hold his wife, Anita, in his arms.

His…

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

In 2009, North Carolina made history by becoming the first state to pass a law that addressed the systemic problems of racial discrimination in jury selection in capital cases. In the three years since the Racial Justice Act (RJA) was enacted, this…

New Film Highlights the Gross Injustices of the West Memphis Three Case

New Film Highlights the Gross Injustices of the West Memphis Three Case

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:44pm

In June 1993, Damien Echols, 18, Jason Baldwin, 16, and Jessie Misskelley, 17, who would come to be known as the “West Memphis Three,” were wrongfully arrested for the murders of three young boys in the small Arkansas town of West Memphis,…

Debt Collectors Aren’t Prosecutors and Shouldn’t Pretend to Be

Debt Collectors Aren’t Prosecutors and Shouldn’t Pretend to Be

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 12:02pm

According to a recent New York Times article, prosecutors and debt collectors are working together to threaten bad check writers with jail, even when no crime has been committed.

Here’s how it works.  Someone writes a check to a…

James Watson, Discoverer of DNA:  Patenting Human Genes Is “Lunacy”

James Watson, Discoverer of DNA: Patenting Human Genes Is “Lunacy”

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:11pm

Recently, Dr. James Watson filed an amicus brief opposing gene patents in our lawsuit challenging the patents on two human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. Watson, along with Francis Crick, identified DNA’s ability…

Fighting for "Too Much Justice"

Fighting for "Too Much Justice"

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice at 4:22pm

In the last 40 years, this country's "tough on crime" policymaking has sacrificed the lives and rights of people of color at the altar of politics.

Italy's Complete Abolition of Death Penalty Is Evidence of Growing International Trend

By Christopher Hill, Capital Punishment Project at 3:53pm

Editor's Note: Jurist asked Christopher Hill, State Strategies Coordinator for the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project, to comment on Italy's recent abolition of the death penalty. The following is his response.

Italy's decision on March 3 to…

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…