Blog of Rights

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 to create life through its double helical structure and its information-coding sequences in 1953. His brief explains why, from the perspective of a scientist whose work laid the foundation for all genetic research, gene patenting is “lunacy.”
A Shameful Race-Based System of "Justice"

A Shameful Race-Based System of "Justice"

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:29pm

Studies consistently show that the best predictor of who the State executes is the color of the victim's skin.

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…

The U.S. Death Penalty — An International Human Rights Wrong?

The U.S. Death Penalty — An International Human Rights Wrong?

By Avinash Samarth, ACLU National Security Project at 9:51am

In 2011, the top five executioners were China, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United States. This is not the company we want to keep.

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…

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…

­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…

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.

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:26pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…