Blog of Rights

The Reign of Terror Ends at LA County Jails

The Reign of Terror Ends at LA County Jails

By Margaret Winter, National Prison Project & Peter J. Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California at 3:49pm
For many years there's been an entrenched culture of savage deputy-on-inmate violence Los Angeles County Jails – violence as extreme as anything we've seen in decades of investigating some of the most notorious jails and prisons in the nation.
Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:01pm

Octavious Burks has been waiting for 10 months.

He's locked in a jail in Scott County, Mississippi. He hasn't been formally charged. He hasn't been assigned an attorney.

This is a recurring nightmare for Octavious: The same thing happened…

Attorney General Eric Holder

For Eric Holder, While He's on the Front Lines in Ferguson

By Jennifer Bellamy, Washington Legislative Office at 4:43pm

Long after the news cameras leave town, Attorney General Eric Holder wants the people in Ferguson to know he stands with them. He's in Missouri today, visiting the front lines.

In the days since Michael Brown was shot, the scene in Ferguson…

The Real Reason Ferguson Has Military Weapons

The Real Reason Ferguson Has Military Weapons

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 11:34am

This piece was originally published on CNN.com.

It used to be billy clubs, fire hoses and snarling German shepherds. Now it's armored personnel carriers and flash-bang grenades. The weaponry has changed, but the target is still the same.

If…

Blog author, John Ladd

Living Under Surveillance at the Border – for What?

By John Ladd at 2:38pm

As a fourth-generation Arizona rancher I have a strong attachment to the land my great grandfather homesteaded back in 1896. But ever since the US government built the border fence and sent thousands of Border Patrol agents to the Southwest, my property…

Ferguson, Black & Blue

Ferguson, Black & Blue

By Jeffrey Mittman at 8:46pm

This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Missouri's blog. 

The United States Department of Justice will confirm tomorrow what residents in the St. Louis metro area have long known: If you’re black in Ferguson, you have a greater…

Do We Really Still Need Free Speech Week?

Do We Really Still Need Free Speech Week?

By Tony Rothert, Legal Director, ACLU of Missouri at 1:43pm

You bet. More than two centuries since the Bill of Rights was drafted, we continue to see a fundamental lack of understanding on government's part of just what freedom of speech means. Nowhere was that more apparent recently than in a Missouri suburb…

Know Your Rights, Ferguson, Missouri

Know Your Rights, Ferguson, Missouri

By Alona Sistrunk, Communications and Development Associate, ACLU of Missouri at 10:01am

Outside of the Ferguson Police Department, protesters continue to exercise their right to protest in response to the police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Saturday. In a show of solidarity, they hold up signs encouraging drivers…

Safer Communities and Fewer People Behind Bars

Safer Communities and Fewer People Behind Bars

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:49pm

Before he started singing with muppets, John Oliver showed us a lot of boxes of Cheerios. This was in the second minute of his epic rant on the state of the U.S. criminal justice system last week.

Varieties of Cheerios – from "Frosted" to…

Hope, At Last, for Some Federal Prisoners

Hope, At Last, for Some Federal Prisoners

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 4:53pm

Here's some truth for you: many federal prisoners would receive substantially shorter sentences for the exact same crime if they were sentenced today under the current law. Many would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. Instead,…