Blog of Rights

Border Patrol Agents on motor bikes

Why is U.S. Border Patrol Shooting Rock-Throwing Teenagers?

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 12:15pm
Sixteen-year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was walking near the U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to meet his brother for a late-night snack when he was fatally shot by U.S. Border Patrol agents. An autopsy later showed the body of the teenager had been riddled with 10 bullets that had entered his back and head. Mexican officials also said it seemed there were two agents who shot at least 14 times. More than a year later, the U.S. government has yet to issue a public explanation of what happened, or to release stationary video footage, except to allege that he was part of a group throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents who were up on a hill, behind the 60-foot tall border fence.
Juwan Wickware being interrogated

Only in America: 16-Year-Old Locked Up for the Rest of His Life

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program & Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 4:37pm

Juwan Wickware wasn't the shooter. But he and more than 2,500 others nationwide will enter prison as teenagers, grow into adults, and die – all behind bars.

This is not right. The sentence must fit the crime, and we cannot throw…

Pardon Bush and Those Who Tortured

Pardon Bush and Those Who Tortured

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 12:54pm

This piece originally appeared on The New York Times opinion page.

Before President George W. Bush left office, a group of conservatives lobbied the White House to grant pardons to the officials who had planned and authorized the United States…

Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin

Parents of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis Share Their Loss at the United Nations

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:43pm

Sitting in meetings in the United Nation's ornate Wilson Palace by the shores of Lake Geneva in the shadow of the Alps seems an odd place to discuss racial discrimination in the United States.

But the problems of racial discrimination quickly…

After Ferguson, U.N. Calls on U.S. to Get Its Act Together on Race Discrimination

After Ferguson, U.N. Calls on U.S. to Get Its Act Together on Race Discrimination

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:06pm

In the last several weeks, the state of Missouri has captured news headlines around the globe: first, with reports coming out of Ferguson of yet another unarmed African-American young man shot and killed by police, and then with accounts of a violent…

U.N. Human Rights Chief: Stop Lethal Injection in U.S.

U.N. Human Rights Chief: Stop Lethal Injection in U.S.

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:56pm

The pain and suffering of Clayton Lockett during his gruesome execution in Oklahoma this week has been met with outrage around the world. Today the United Nations human rights chief said that Lockett's botched execution may violate international law,…

The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World's Agenda

The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World's Agenda

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:18pm

As the United Nations this week debated America's record on race, one name was on everyone's minds: Michael Brown. Not only Americans have been riveted this week by the tragic killing of the unarmed teenager, the subsequent protests, and the militarized…

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

Their Lives Depend on It: Every Unaccompanied Child Needs a Lawyer

By Layla Razavi, Regional Advocacy and Policy Counsel, ACLU at 1:21pm

At first glance, the kids I met at the Ft. Sill military base in Lawton, Oklahoma, seemed like ordinary teenagers. They wore friendship bracelets they'd made in arts and crafts. Boys had baseball caps and girls had brightly colored nail polish with…

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:20pm

Every day from dusk to dawn there's noise, banging, clanking, yelling, screaming. Everyday someone is getting hurt or hurting themselves. Everyday there's fire and floods and complete chaos & hate…Every day is a challenge here. A challenge…

Required Reading: Prequels to the Torture Report

Required Reading: Prequels to the Torture Report

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:17pm

As early as tomorrow, the long-awaited Senate torture report will finally see the light of day. If all goes as planned, the Senate Intelligence Committee will release the roughly 500-page executive summary of its 6,000-page report concerning the CIA's…