Blog of Rights

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:04am
Our country's federal prison population has grown by nearly 800% in the last 30 years.
It's Like You're Sold a Dream

It's Like You're Sold a Dream

By Lance White at 2:01pm

I lost my drive after my older brother Rufus was sentenced. I didn't care. I didn't trust. That was my attitude. Rufus was the father figure I looked up to. When he went to jail for the rest of his life, I started looking up to his buddies. A lot of…

How to Think About the National Security State

How to Think About the National Security State

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:00am

The United States has grown a gigantic national security state. According to one analyst, our overall annual security budget is now more than $1.2 trillion. And we now know that includes at least $75 billion for “intelligence.” In the wake of Edward…

With No Evidence of Wrongdoing, NYPD Treats Entire Mosques as Terrorist Groups

With No Evidence of Wrongdoing, NYPD Treats Entire Mosques as Terrorist Groups

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:44pm

The Associated Press reported today that the NYPD designated entire mosques "terrorism enterprises" in order to justify the use of invasive methods to spy on congregants and imams. The report confirms what we have long been saying about the NYPD's…

All Kids Sentenced to Die in Michigan Prisons Get Second Chance

All Kids Sentenced to Die in Michigan Prisons Get Second Chance

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:38pm

363 men and women in Michigan are currently slated to die in prison because of tragic mistakes they made as kids.  In each of these cases, Michigan law gave the judge no choice but to automatically sentence them to life without even the possibility…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:29pm

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 bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it's ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed…

NEW LAWSUIT: Police Should Stop Arresting Innocent People Just for Being on a Business’s Property

NEW LAWSUIT: Police Should Stop Arresting Innocent People Just for Being on a Business’s Property

By Jason Williamson & Miriam Aukerman, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Michigan at 1:46pm

The next time you're in Grand Rapids, Michigan and need to pull into a gas station to make a phone...

Smart Justice Fair Justice

Shocking: Seattle Treats 47-Year-Old Woman Like Person, Not Problem

By Chloe Cockburn, Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 3:15pm

On a typical night, police officers approach women like "Jane," a 47-year-old who had just sold $20 worth of crack to an undercover officer. Jane is homeless and has a long history of chemical dependency and mental health issues. She has also been…

Crop of image by Arlo Bates via Flickr

When Big Data Becomes a Civil Rights Problem

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

My colleague Jay Stanley just wrote about an invasive new police tactic employed by the Chicago Police Department. Using software created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the city developed a “’heat list’ — an index of…

Our Presidents Smoked It. Why Is It Still a Crime?

Our Presidents Smoked It. Why Is It Still a Crime?

By Lynda Garcia, Soros Fellow, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 10:50am

The cover of a recent issue of The Nation calling for marijuana legalization features President Obama with his high school buddies, known as the Choom Gang, who, allegedly, were very into smoking weed. And as The Nation points out, Obama has company—Presidents…