Blog of Rights

Death Penalty Abolition Movement “To See Sunny Days”

Death Penalty Abolition Movement “To See Sunny Days”

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:29am
On July 3, U.N. delegates and NGO representatives from around the world gathered at the U.N. Headquarters in New York for an invigorating conference entitled “Moving Away From the Death Penalty - Lessons from National Experiences.” Panelists, ranging from high-level U.N. officials to state-level prosecutors to individuals directly impacted by the death penalty, shared their experiences with death penalty abolition and examined the human rights implications of the ultimate punishment. 
A Personal Reflection on McCleskey v. Kemp

A Personal Reflection on McCleskey v. Kemp

By Diann Rust-Tierney

April 22 marked the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in McCleskey v. Kemp, in which the Court ruled that a defendant cannot rely upon statistical evidence of systemic racial bias to prove his death sentence…

I AM TROY DAVIS

I AM TROY DAVIS

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 10:58am

The state of Georgia has blood on its hands.

Last night, Georgia strapped down an innocent human being and forced lethal poison into his veins until he died. In your name; in my name, unashamed and unhesitating.

This case had most…

Race Contributes to Wrongful Convictions

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, 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…

Good and Bad Lawyers Determine Who Lives and Who Dies

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 12:46pm

In a separate post yesterday, I addressed how a person on death row's life can be decided on a technicality, an issue to be decided by the Supreme Court in Holland v. Florida. Today's post addresses another issue the Holland case raises —…

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...

25 Years After McCleskey, Looking Forward to Legislative Fixes of Supreme Court Error

25 Years After McCleskey, Looking Forward to Legislative Fixes of Supreme Court Error

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 9:54am

April 22 marks the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in McCleskey v. Kemp, in which the Court ruled that a defendant cannot rely upon statistical evidence of systemic racial bias to prove his death sentence unconstitutional,…

Brady Reform: New Legislation Is a Win for Justice

Brady Reform: New Legislation Is a Win for Justice

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:47pm

In the 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a defendant’s fundamental right to any and all favorable information that might prove he or she was innocent of a crime. From that case came the “Brady…