Blog of Rights

15-Year-Old Gets Six Life Sentences?

15-Year-Old Gets Six Life Sentences?

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 1:27pm
At gunpoint, two 18-year-olds and a 15-year-old robbed a dozen other teenagers at a house party, taking money, phones, and marijuana. No shots were fired, but one of the 18-year-olds struck someone with the butt of his gun.
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…

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 3:20pm

The guardianship system in this country raises serious concerns. That's why the guardianship trial of Jenny Hatch, a vibrant and active 29-year-old in a battle over who controls her life, struck such a chord. Jenny spoke for many other people with…

U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum

U.S. Actions in Snowden Case Threaten Right to Seek Asylum

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program & Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:16pm

Revelations about the NSA's secret surveillance activities continue to make headlines both at home and abroad. In the last week alone, Brazil expressed concern about recent reports of NSA spying on millions of Brazilian citizens, the European Parliament…

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

Texas Shouldn't – BUT JUST DID – Execute a Mexican National

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:52pm

Yesterday, at 9:32 p.m., the state of Texas executed Edgar Arias Tamayo, a 46-year-old Mexican national. Injecting lethal drugs into Mr. Tamayo's bloodstream was a clear violation of the United States' international obligations, and yet the state of…

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…

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:22pm

This week, fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama stood on the National Mall and listed out some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. High up on the list: not letting our criminal justice system become "simply…

U.N. Flag

U.N. Holds U.S. Accountable for Human Rights Violations at Home and Abroad

By Astrid Reyes, ACLU Human Rights Program at 6:32pm

"The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights," warned Jimmy Carter in a 2012 New York Times op-ed. Less than two years later, Carter's warning has been vindicated. Yesterday, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued…

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:54pm

When children under 12 engage in exploitative sexual behavior, it is often a result of abuse or exposure to sex acts that they themselves have experienced. These children need mental health treatment and family interventions, not probation and blacklists.

Why…

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

What's the Difference Between Force Feeding and Waterboarding?

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:02am

The Department of Defense this month publicly released its newest rationalization for the abusive force-feeding program at Guantánamo Bay. In this latest memo on hunger strike policies, the abusive force-feeding program is referred to as "medical…