Blog of Rights

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 nearly 16 years, was resentenced to life in prison without parole.
Texas Court Upholds Death Sentence of Innocent Man Although "There is Something Very Wrong" with Case Against Him

Texas Court Upholds Death Sentence of Innocent Man Although "There is Something Very Wrong" with Case Against Him

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 10:06am

With an opinion yesterday from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, ACLU client Max Soffar moves a step closer to an unjust execution.  And, little more than one year after the execution of Troy Davis, our system moves closer to another miscarriage…

A Good Ride from Death Row

A Good Ride from Death Row

By Denny LeBoeuf, Capital Punishment Project at 5:17pm

Friday morning, September 28th, Damon Thibodeaux woke up on Death Row. By early afternoon he was a free man, walking out of Louisiana State Penitentiary after 16 years imprisonment for a crime he did not commit. He was the 141st person exonerated after…

Child Predators, Cheating Prosecutors and Terry Williams: How Pennsylvania Is Poised to Execute a Victim of Horrific Sexual Violence Despite the State’s Own Bad Acts

Child Predators, Cheating Prosecutors and Terry Williams: How Pennsylvania Is Poised to Execute a Victim of Horrific Sexual Violence Despite the State’s Own Bad Acts

By Tanya Greene, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 12:52pm

Here we go again – but, wait, this is Pennsylvania, not Texas or Florida, which have been known to execute individuals despite evidence supporting innocence and/or horrifying trauma histories and major mental health and intellectual deficits. …

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…

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

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:27pm

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 barsour imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history.

"Hands Off Our DNA" Lawsuit Gets Another Day in Court

"Hands Off Our DNA" Lawsuit Gets Another Day in Court

By Michael Risher, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 2:22pm

Last week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said it would rehear the ACLU of Northern California's lawsuit challenging a California law that mandates that DNA is collected from anyone arrested on suspicion of a felony.

Update: Intellectually Disabled Georgia Man Faces Monday Execution if Supreme Court Does Not Step In

Update: Intellectually Disabled Georgia Man Faces Monday Execution if Supreme Court Does Not Step In

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:47am

Georgia stands poised to execute Warren Hill on Monday even though a Georgia court affirmed yesterday that Hill has an IQ of only 70.

A Tale of Three States: Executing the Mentally Disabled

A Tale of Three States: Executing the Mentally Disabled

By Brian Stull, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:54pm

Georgia: On Monday, the State of Georgia stands ready to strap Warren Hill to a gurney, place IV lines in his arms, and pump his body with poison until he dies.  Warren Hill has an IQ of 70, and is intellectually disabled (mentally retarded).…