Blog of Rights

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 3:08pm
David Eckert was pulling out of a Wal-Mart parking lot when police officers pulled him over for failing to stop at a parking lot stop sign. Police ordered Eckert to step out of his vehicle, and that's when he committed the highly suspicious act of "clenching his buttocks." The officers' natural reaction? This man must be hiding narcotics in his anal cavity.
I Was Six-Years-Old and Locked in Solitary

I Was Six-Years-Old and Locked in Solitary

By James Burns at 1:24pm

Solitary was the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I was in and out of jail while I was growing up, and every time I was in solitary confinement, it felt as horrible as the first time I was locked up and left alone.

The first time I'd…

As The "Drug Testing Dragnet" Widens, The Poor Continue to be Swept In

As The "Drug Testing Dragnet" Widens, The Poor Continue to be Swept In

By Jason Williamson & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:05pm

Heads up: mandatory, suspicionless drug testing is not just about violating your Fourth Amendment rights anymore...

What Could Justify Using a Taser on an 8-Year-Old Girl?

What Could Justify Using a Taser on an 8-Year-Old Girl?

By Heather Smith, Communications Director, ACLU of South Dakota & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:34pm

Justified.

That’s how the Pierre Police Department described an incident several days ago where an officer fired his Taser at an 8-year-old girl after receiving a report that she had stabbed herself in the leg and appeared suicidal.

When…

Hundreds of Economists: Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions

Hundreds of Economists: Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 4:29pm

Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America. The petition draws attention to an…

Private Prisons Are the Problem, Not the Solution

Private Prisons Are the Problem, Not the Solution

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Gabriel Eber, ACLU National Prison Project at 4:38pm

For the past two years, the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center have been investigating and exposing a horrifying pattern of abuse against juveniles and the mentally ill in two Mississippi prisons operated by the GEO Group, one of the biggest…

What Rights?

What Rights?

By Melinda Chateauvert, Author of Sex Workers Unite! A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk at 4:22pm

Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.

Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can…

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:59pm

Keene, New Hampshire has a population of 23,409, except during the months of July and August when campers flock in for the summer. Keene's violent crime index? 134.4, compared to a national average of 213.6. Most common crime? Theft. Good thing the…

Still Locking People Up for Being Poor? Really?! It's 2014.

Still Locking People Up for Being Poor? Really?! It's 2014.

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 2:43pm

Debtors' prisons sound like ancient history, right? Unfortunately, they're all too common across the United States. In spite of the Constitution, case law, and common sense, low-income people are routinely jailed in places as far-flung as Georgia…

Police Abuse of Power, Plain and Simple, in Etowah County, Alabama

Police Abuse of Power, Plain and Simple, in Etowah County, Alabama

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:27pm

The Etowah County Sheriff's Office has a Fourth Amendment problem.

About once a month, a marked sheriff's car shows up, unannounced and after dark, outside a family's home in Alabama. Uniformed officers walk to the family's door, in plain sight…