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This Week in Civil Liberties

The text, "Week in Review."
The text, "Week in Review."
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July 15, 2011

This week, blog posts revealed that we are ignoring the rights of foreign nationals, ignoring juries, and ignoring the will of the people. Britain probably will continue being our BFF regardless, because they are ignoring privacy. Luckily, Washington, D.C. is ignoring the current fashion for corrections systems making big criminals out of little criminals…

Execution in Texas, Despite So Much
Texas executed a Mexican national who was tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the state of Texas without ever talking to the Mexican consulate. His sentence would almost certainly have been different if he had. It is certain that his lawyer would have been different – Mexico pays for experienced lawyers to defend against death penalty cases for its citizens.

From Filthy Boys Prison to New Beginnings: Hill Staffers Walk a Mile in Youthful Offenders’ Shoes
Key congressional staffers and staff in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention made a site visit to the now-closed Oak Hill Youth Center — in order to highlight D.C.’s previous approach to juvenile justice that relied on punitive measures and secure confinement as a response to juvenile crime — and to the New Beginnings Youth Development Center — to see D.C.’s new juvenile facility modeled on Missouri’s, housing residents in dormitory-like settings and creating a culture focused on rehabilitation as well as accountability.

Why Have a Jury?
In Alabama, elected judges have the authority to override the jury’s sentencing decision in death penalty cases – in other words, a judge can sentence a person to die even if a jury of his or her peers decides death is not the appropriate punishment. 98 defendants in Alabama have been sentenced to death after their juries recommended a life sentence, often unanimously…

Lessons from the UK “Phone Hacking” Scandal
Britain’s gigantic scandal around privacy invasions by the press and police began with revelations about reporters for Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid newspaper News of the World hacking into the voicemail of a murdered young girl, and has expanded as other privacy invasions have come to light.

Seeking to Delay and Derail DADT Repeal

Pretending to fiscal responsibility, congressional opponents of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal succeeded in attaching two anti-gay, political, “red meat” amendments to the legislation, ideological efforts to advance a narrow social agenda that is out of step with what the American public wants.

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