Blog of Rights

Photo of police officer holding nightstick

We Need to Move Beyond the Frame of the “Bad Apple Cop”

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:27am
I and others have argued that video has “killed trust in police officers.” Police have been able to get away with a lot of abuse because judges, juries, and the public have usually deemed police officers more credible than abuse victims. But with a regular parade of videos being posted online, a certain naive faith in police officers held by many Americans may be eroding.
How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

How Did a Lifelong Prison Sentence for an Iraq Vet Turn Into an Imminent Death Sentence?

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:39pm

Courtney Lockhart is an Iraqi war veteran now on Alabama's death row, but he shouldn't be.

The jury that heard the prosecutor's request for his execution voted unanimously against it, opting instead for life imprisonment after hearing evidence…

Big Government v. Traumatized Defenseless Children = Justice?

Big Government v. Traumatized Defenseless Children = Justice?

By Joanne Lin, Washington Legislative Office at 1:26pm

Imagine a child alone in immigration court – defenseless – representing herself against a government prosecutor, standing before an immigration judge, and trying, in a language she does not speak, to make a case for her life. Unfortunately, this…

Hillary Clinton testifying

Politics Swirling Around Clinton Email Scandal Obscure Real Problems

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:30am

Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while secretary of state has inevitably become a fully inflated political football in these early days of the 2016 presidential race—with the right somehow linking the emails to the late Vince Foster,…

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

America's Mass Incarceration Habit Needs a Serious Fix

By Michael K. Williams at 11:48am

When I was growing up in East Flatbush, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, one of my very best friends was something else. He, let's call him MZ, could have had Hollywood on a string. He was actually my inspiration for becoming an actor.

MZ,…

Native American Women Still Getting Short Shrift on Emergency Contraception

Native American Women Still Getting Short Shrift on Emergency Contraception

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 11:34am

Nearly two years ago a federal court ordered the FDA to make Plan B emergency contraception an over-the-counter drug. That means it is now available in pharmacies across the country to women of any age without a prescription, just like any other over-the-counter…

Obama Promised Transparency on Drones, But We're Still in the Dark

Obama Promised Transparency on Drones, But We're Still in the Dark

By Matthew Spurlock, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:24am

Targeted killings have been a central part of U.S. national security strategy for more than a decade, but the American public still knows scandalously little about who the government kills, and why. Today we're filing a new lawsuit in our continuing…

Judge to Government: 'National Security' Isn't a 'Magic Word' That Allows Constitutional Rights Violations

Judge to Government: 'National Security' Isn't a 'Magic Word' That Allows Constitutional Rights Violations

By Lindsay Nash, Skadden Fellow, Immigrants' Rights Project at 11:20am

For the past seven months, the Department of Homeland Security has been detaining and refusing to release immigrant mothers and children – even newborns – who have fled extreme violence and persecution in Central America to seek refuge in the United…

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

Can You Think of a Better Way to Spend $7.2 Billion Than Unnecessarily Locking Up Nonviolent Offenders and Undocumented Immigrants?

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:16am

The Department of Justice spends $7.2 billion a year to incarcerate over 209,000 people in the federal Bureau of Prisons at a cost of over $30,000 per year per person.

This is unsustainable, both morally and economically.

The majority…

'Tech Can Be a Champion of Privacy,' Edward Snowden Tells Tech Leaders at SXSW

'Tech Can Be a Champion of Privacy,' Edward Snowden Tells Tech Leaders at SXSW

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 6:22pm
Edward Snowden had a message for some two dozen technology leaders at the SXSW Interactive festival today: “Tech can be a champion of privacy.”    In an hour-long meeting conducted through Google Hangout, the whistleblower and…