Blog of Rights

I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial

I Was 16 and in Solitary Before I Ever Even Went to Trial

By Reginald Dwayne Betts, Legal Intern, ACLU at 2:01pm
February is cold in Northern Virginia. It's even colder when you're in a cell alone, without a mattress, a blanket, a pillow, or a sheet.
Another Day, Another 124 Violent SWAT Raids

Another Day, Another 124 Violent SWAT Raids

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:51pm

It's 3:00 a.m. Your children are screaming and your dog is lying dead in a pool of blood. Scorch marks and shattered glass cover the floor. You're being held at gunpoint by towering figures wearing black and holding AK-47s.

This isn't a Hollywood…

Blurred photo of Supreme Court building

How the Supreme Court Could Have Ruled in Riley

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:17am

Privacy advocates are celebrating the Supreme Court’s recognition in yesterday’s Riley v. California ruling that, as some have succinctly put it, “digital is different.” Chief Justice Roberts’s 9-0 opinion in the case is straightforward and…

Preying on the Poor: For-Profit Probation Edition

Preying on the Poor: For-Profit Probation Edition

By Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:48pm

Welcome to Alabama, the state of the never-ending seat belt ticket.

Hali Wood is 17. She's applied to work at several grocery stores in her home town of Columbiana, but none are hiring. A few months back, cops ticketed Hali for not wearing…

WTF? Our Tax Dollars Are Being Spent to Jail a Vet for Being Poor

WTF? Our Tax Dollars Are Being Spent to Jail a Vet for Being Poor

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 8:10pm

After he returned from Iraq both homeless and out of work, Stephan Papa spent one night in a drunken misadventure. Convicted of destruction of property and resisting arrest, Mr. Papa was sentenced to pay $2600 in fines and court fees.

If Mr.…

Anastasio Hernández Rojas

Justice for Anastasio

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:52pm

When faced with government brutality and, in its aftermath, a total lack of justice for victims we have two choices: we can despair, or we can fight back.

On May 28, 2010, a 42-year-old undocumented immigrant,…

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 2:09pm

Imagine a police officer refusing to guard a Sikh temple, give a presentation on safety and crime prevention at a Catholic elementary school, conduct foot patrols in a neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population, or come to the aid of an injured…

Blog author, Justin Jones

How to Starve the For-Profit Prison Beast

By Justin Jones, Former Director, Oklahoma Department of Corrections at 3:27pm

I know some private prison lobbyists who would love it if you were found with a cell phone. Assuming, of course, that you're already locked in one of the prisons their clients operate in Oklahoma.

Introducing a cell phone into a correctional…

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,…