Blog of Rights

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:41am
This piece originally ran at POLITICO Magazine.
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…

How to Save $24 Billion and Fix Our Broken Justice System

How to Save $24 Billion and Fix Our Broken Justice System

By Meghan Groob, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:19pm

Here's a hypothetical for you: Someone approaches you on the street and offers you a big stack of cash with no strings attached. Do you take it?

Of course you do.

As much as we'd like to pretend otherwise, money matters. And that's…

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.

When I walked into that cell in the basement of the Fairfax County Jail, my hands cuffed behind my back…

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,…