Blog of Rights

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...

Local Police, Armed with the Weapons of War, Too Often Mistakenly Shoot and Kill

Local Police, Armed with the Weapons of War, Too Often Mistakenly Shoot and Kill

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:52pm

Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was sleeping on the couch next to her grandmother when a SWAT team threw a “flashbang” through the window of her Detroit, Michigan home. The “flashbang” – a stun grenade originally developed for wartime raids –…

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…

Cop Assaults Elementary School Student

Cop Assaults Elementary School Student

By Seema Sadanandan, Organizer, ACLU of the Nation's Capital at 1:43pm

When Officer David Bailey grabbed a 10-year-old student by the back of his head and slammed it into the school cafeteria table, it is safe to say that student was not free to leave. On that afternoon, Bailey decided that his routine beat on the streets…

Extreme Sentencing – the "New Normal?"

Extreme Sentencing – the "New Normal?"

By Vanita Gupta, Center for Justice & Chloe Cockburn, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:33pm

It should outrage us that a homeless man will be in prison for the rest of his life because he was the middleman in the sale of $10 worth of marijuana. We can all pretty much agree that the punishment of growing old and dying behind bars for such offenses…

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…

We Know That Stop-and-Frisk is All Kinds of Horrible: So Why Is it Expanding Nationwide?

We Know That Stop-and-Frisk is All Kinds of Horrible: So Why Is it Expanding Nationwide?

By Robert Hunter, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Program at 3:51pm

I was going to the store for my mother. And then when I came out the building I see my uncle and he's coming from the way I'm going and we walk back to the store...

Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

Tasers No Longer a Non-Lethal Alternative for Law Enforcement

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:39pm

Tasers subject their victims to a 50,000 volt shock followed by 100 microsecond pulses of 1,200 volts.   Since 2001, more than 500 people in the United States have died after law enforcement officers used this weapon against them. A…

My Dad Will Never Come Home

My Dad Will Never Come Home

By April Anderson, Daughter of Dicky Joe Jackson at 1:23pm

Dad usually suggests we leave a little early because leaving is the 'elephant in the room' that we're all trying to avoid. "Ya'll go on and head home and get some rest. Don't worry about me, I'm fine." It's the same stuff every time.

My dad…

Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!

Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past!

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:00am

Here’s to starting the New Year right. The notorious Tamms Correctional Center in Illinois, with its practice of housing human beings alone in cells for 22-24 hours per day with little or no human interaction or outside stimulus, officially shut its doors today.