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Posts Tagged with "American Civil Liberties Union"

‘Help bring me home for the holidays,’ a life and death appeal from renowned people’s attorney Lynne Stewart

December 19, 2013

I need to ask once again for your assistance in forcing the Bureau of Prisons to grant my compassionate release. They have been stonewalling since August and my life expectancy, as per my cancer doctor, is down to 12 months. They know that I am fully qualified and that over 40,000 people have signed on to force them to do the right thing, which is to let me go home to my family and to receive advanced care in New York City. Yet they refuse to act.

The too-many prisoners dilemma

November 26, 2013

There’s a growing national consensus that, as Attorney General Eric Holder stated in August, “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” Despite the heavy toll that mass incarceration exacts every day and in countless ways on many American communities the topic attracts remarkably little consistent coverage in the mainstream media.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Confronting California’s abuse of solitary

November 20, 2013

Solitary confinement can eat away at someone’s mind, making mental illness worse and leaving many people depressed, suicidal, hopeless or hallucinating. It’s no place for individuals with mental illness. In 1995, a federal court in California agreed. After a trial exposing the appalling conditions at Pelican Bay, a federal judge ordered all mentally ill prisoners out of the prison’s security housing unit (SHU) in a case called Madrid v. Gomez.

Prison hunger strikers face reprisals as papers that back them are censored

November 17, 2013

Since some 30,000 California prisoners launched a hunger strike July 8 against the practice of long-term solitary confinement and other abuses, participants have faced punitive retaliation and censorship of newspapers and other media that backed their fight. Abuses continued after prisoners suspended the strike Sept. 5.

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Filed Under: Prison Stories
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Report from China: ‘Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012’

May 18, 2013

The U.S. State Department recently released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, posing as the world judge of human rights again. As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the U.S. turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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International body slams U.S. solitary confinement practices

April 9, 2013

There are more than 80,000 people in solitary confinement in the United States. Last week, the widespread misuse and abuse of solitary confinement in jails and prisons across the country drew international condemnation when the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights criticized the United States following weeks of hearings on human rights practices across the Americas region.

Supreme Court hears Voting Rights Act challenge: The legal fight to protect white power

March 15, 2013

Scalia has made it clear why this case is before the Court – it’s about race and white “race entitlement.” The Voting Rights Act was passed because no group is going to “apportion themselves out of power.” If the Court rules in favor of Shelby County in the face of its racist record, it will be doing nothing more than validating white power and racism.

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Filed Under: California and the U.S.
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ACLU opposes SFPD taser deployment

January 5, 2013

A Dec. 4, 2012, ACLU letter to SF Mayor Ed Lee urged rejecting any SFPD proposal “to deploy tasers or other conductive energy devices”. The letter emphasizes that costly tasers would generate heavy legal fees from officer overuse and abuse, posing serious injury and death risks, especially to SFPD’s targeted populations: people in public mental health crisis and people of color.

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Filed Under: SF Bay Area
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U.S. at U.N. prisoners’ rights meeting: Progress, but still wrong on solitary confinement

December 13, 2012

Yesterday I wrote about the ACLU’s efforts to ensure that the U.S. government is properly engaged at a U.N. meeting in Buenos Aires on uniform rules for the treatment of prisoners. Now that the meeting is underway, it appears that the U.S. delegation is playing a constructive role – but we’ve still got work to do.

San Francisco Mental Health Board passes ‘no tasers’ resolution 9-2

November 20, 2012

At its Wednesday, Nov. 14, meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Health, 101 Grove St., Room 300, the San Francisco Mental Health Board will welcome public comment before voting on a resolution against putting tasers in SFPD Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers’ hands.

San Mateo Board of Supervisors push $160 million jail plan forward

September 26, 2012

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, San Mateo’s Board of Supervisors voted to approve $44.2 million in the 2012-2013 budget, ramming through a plan to build a new jail over strong and growing concerns from community members. With the jail approved in the budget, residents committed to defeating the jail tax that will be on the November ballot.

Senate passes Prison Media Access Bill

August 30, 2012

Update: Gov. Brown signed AB 1270 Aug. 31, restoring the conditions that existed before 1996, when corrections officials cut down on reporters’ ability to report on prisons and prisoners. “With passage of AB 1270, legislators have voted for transparent and accountable reporting of the state’s 32 prisons and the more than 130,000 prisoners locked inside their walls.”

SF Human Rights Commission invites your testimony on impact of War on Drugs at April 12 public hearing

April 4, 2012

In 2006, African Americans were arrested in San Francisco for drug offenses at five times the rate of African Americans statewide and at 16 times the rate of other races in the City. Testify at the hearing, marking the 40th anniversary of the War on Drugs, Thursday, April 12, 5:30 p.m., in Room 250, SF City Hall.

Louisiana Legislature votes to parole some elderly prisoners

June 28, 2011

The American Civil Liberties Union hailed the passage of a bill in the Louisiana legislature making it easier for elderly prisoners to get a parole hearing as an important step towards reducing the state’s unnecessarily high prison population.

Tell SF Police Commission Wednesday: NO Tasers!

February 21, 2011

Your community needs you at the Police Commission hearing on Tasers: this Wednesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., in Room 400, City Hall. A study found that in the first year of Taser usage, sudden deaths in custody go up 550 percent and officer shootings more than double. The United Nations and Amnesty International consider Tasers to be torture devices, and the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, and the NAACP oppose their use. It is certain that Taser usage does not lead to fewer shootings.

Subpoenas: Support resisters to FBI raids and grand juries

January 25, 2011

Across the country organizations and individuals are standing together to protest the United States government’s attempt to silence and criminalize anti-war and international solidarity activists in solidarity with them. Legendary lawyer Lynne Stewart, who is already in prison, and an activist who has been subpoenaed by the grand jury tell why they resist.

Min. Farrakhan rallies support for Rev. Pinkney

June 4, 2009

An all-white Berrien County jury had convicted Rev. Pinkney, the founder of Benton Harbor’s Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers (BANCO) and an associate pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, in March 2007 on allegations of voter fraud. He won release from prison on bond in December 2008 only after the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took an interest in his case and helped with his defense.

Pack the Nevada Prison Board meeting April 14

April 9, 2009

On Tuesday, April 14, in Las Vegas (by video) and in Carson City (live) the Nevada Board of Prison Commissioners will meet to allow the public to put on record its complaints against the Nevada prison system and make suggestions for improvement. Prisoners are asking other prisoners to urge their supporters, friends and loved ones to attend.

Rev. Pinkney granted bond, will be home for Christmas

December 11, 2008

A Court of Appeals granted the ACLU’s motion for bond on behalf of Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is serving a 3-10 year sentence for harshly criticizing a judge.

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