Blog of Rights

Velez Hearing Day 3: A Portrait of Constitutionally Inadequate Counsel

Velez Hearing Day 3: A Portrait of Constitutionally Inadequate Counsel

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

In Day 3 of the Velez hearing in Brownsville, Texas, I want to take a moment to explain the legal context – the rule of constitutional law – that will entitle Manuel Velez to relief if the judge, the Hon. Elia Cornejo Lopez, credits the…

Day 2 of Velez Hearing: State’s Witness Dismantles State’s Timeline Theory

Day 2 of Velez Hearing: State’s Witness Dismantles State’s Timeline Theory

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:22am

We’re in day 2 of the Manuel Velez innocence hearing in Brownsville, Texas.  As we’ve previously explained, this case posed a dilemma because two adults were in a Brownsville home on Halloween 2005 when 11-month- old Angel Moreno was…

Day 1 of Velez Innocence Hearing: A Family Comes to Court for Justice

Day 1 of Velez Innocence Hearing: A Family Comes to Court for Justice

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:34pm

The façade of the U.S. Supreme Court bears the motto “equal justice under law.” But that ideal is not confined to our high court. People across this nation seek out the courts for equal justice

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…

Could Manuel Velez be the 13th Prisoner Exonerated from Texas’s Death Row?

Could Manuel Velez be the 13th Prisoner Exonerated from Texas’s Death Row?

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:31pm

Imagine you are caring for a toddler and suddenly he stops breathing.  You quickly get him medical aid, but it’s too late: the child dies at the hospital where medical personnel were unable to revive him.  That would be a horrific nightmare…

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,…

Replace the Death Penalty in California

Replace the Death Penalty in California

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 2:55pm

Imagine for a minute that all the public busses in California sat dormant in a parking lot, never to run again. Imagine that the public schools sent all the kids home for good. Imagine also that state’s hospitals shuttered their doors and turned…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 10:43am

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…

VICTORY! One Less Person Faces Execution in Alabama

VICTORY! One Less Person Faces Execution in Alabama

By Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:13pm

One less person faces possible death at the hands of Alabama’s arbitrary capital punishment system, after the State agreed to stop seeking the death penalty for ACLU client LaSamuel Gamble late last week. Gamble, who has been on death row for…