Blog of Rights

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

An Innocent Man’s Tortured Days on Texas’s Death Row

By Anthony Graves, who spent years in solitary confinement on Texas’ death row before being proven innocent in 2010. Yesterday he testified about the experience at a Senate subcommittee hearing on solitary confinement. His website is www.anthonybelieves.com.
Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

Three Years in a Cage. No Charges and No Lawyer.

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:01pm

Octavious Burks has been waiting for 10 months.

He's locked in a jail in Scott County, Mississippi. He hasn't been formally charged. He hasn't been assigned an attorney.

This is a recurring nightmare for Octavious: The same thing happened…

This Is What Happens When the Secretary of Defense is in Charge of Your Medical Care

This Is What Happens When the Secretary of Defense is in Charge of Your Medical Care

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:08am

When Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on August 21, 2013, she was immediately worried that she would be denied desperately needed medical care for gender dysphoria.

So far, her worst fears of suffering without treatment have…

The High Costs of Going Gray in Louisiana and Nationwide

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:26pm

Prisoners across America are getting older, experiencing all the same ailments that afflict those of the same age who aren't behind bars. Extreme sentencing policies and a growing number of life sentences without the possibility of parole have…

A Failure to Protect the Most Vulnerable Population Behind Bars

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:36am

Regular readers of The New York Times know that columnist Nicolas Kristof is a forceful advocate on behalf of human rights around the world. In his column on Thursday, January 28th — “Kids in Crisis (Behind Bars)” — he…

Prison corridor

CCA Continues to Cite Misleading Study It Funded

By Christopher Petrella, Researcher, U.C. Berkeley at 10:07am

As an academic, it’s my job to be a skeptic. 

That’s why, when two researchers at Temple University published a study last year claiming that for-profit prison companies can save states lots of money, I wanted to know how they’d…

With Only Your Wits and an Empty Can of Pepper Spray to Protect You

With Only Your Wits and an Empty Can of Pepper Spray to Protect You

By Claire Gardner, Community Engagement Associate, ACLU of Tennessee at 12:27pm

Listen, Trousdale County, Tennessee, I get it: When a big, powerful corporation comes to town and promises 400 new jobs, that's a huge deal. Especially if you're a small, rural community of hardworking people trying to make an honest living.

So…

Reverend Sanders

Private Prisons Eat Our Humanity

By Reverend Edwin C. Sanders II, Senior Servant and Founder, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church at 2:30pm

Somebody figured out, once again, how to build a machine that can quantify the life of an African-American man and make money off him. They figured out how to use the value of his body to fuel their machine. They learned how to drive its engine, and…

All Eyes on Arpaio

All Eyes on Arpaio

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 9:58am

A federal judge in Arizona has delivered a major – and hopefully final – victory in the fight to stop Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) from racial profiling and illegal detentions that target Latinos.

In…

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado Continues to Warehouse Mentally Ill Prisoners in Solitary

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Colorado Continues to Warehouse Mentally Ill Prisoners in Solitary

By Kiela Parks, Advocacy Associate, ACLU of Colorado at 11:31am

Fifteen years ago, John Quinn* was a bright high school student with a promising future. A talented athlete...