The United States is without a doubt the greatest country in the world...at incarcerating its citizens. With 5 percent of the world's population, we keep 25 percent of the world's prisoners in our jails. How do we do it? We pass "war on drugs" laws that criminalize non violent offenses and drug addiction.
In 2009, Shane Bauer was one of three Americans detained while hiking in Iraq’s Kurdish region near the Iranian border. He and Josh Fattal ultimately were imprisoned for 26 months, much of it in solitary confinement.
Yesterday, the ACLU filed suit against Morgan Stanley for fueling the production of predatory loans that targeted African-American borrowers. The fallout from these loans continues to wreak havoc in communities across the nation, but in large segregated cities such as Detroit they have been devastating.
Today's New York Times Op-Ed Column by Frank Bruni features 80 year old Cape Neddick resident Chuck Bennett talking about why winning the freedom to marry is so important:
“I see it as something of profound significance,” he said. “Whether anyone winds up getting married in Maine, I don’t care. I care that they can get married.” That right means that gay people are equal to straight people. It recognizes their dignity. His dignity.
"The attempt to impose upon man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation, against this I raise my sword-pen. ..."
As I tried to make up my rassoodock on my favorite banned book it came to me: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
Today, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) released a report on the use of solitary confinement in the New York correctional system. Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York’s Prisons, is the product of an intensive, year-long investigation that involved communication with more than 100 people who have spent significant amounts of time – in one case, more than 20 years – in extreme isolation.
Outside of armed conflict zones, the use of lethal force is strictly limited by international law and, when it comes to U.S. citizens, the Constitution. Specifically, lethal force can be used only as a last resort against an imminent threat to life. Even in the context of an armed conflict against an armed group, the government may use lethal force only against individuals who are directly participating in hostilities against the U. S.
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an order sending the (ACLU of PA) voter ID challenge back down to the lower court for further review. The PA Supreme Court, which split 4-2, asked that the lower court review whether the state's new "voting only" IDs guarantee that no eligible voters will be disenfranchised in November.
Hopefully, on October 2, the lower court will clearly see the state has no such guarantee and will promptly overturn the law.
Born in the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is perhaps our most visible reminder of how intrusive security has become at our transportation centers. Unfortunately, the TSA continues to embrace policies and procedures that have little to do with keeping us safe. For example, take the (apparently not new) practice of randomly testing beverages purchased AFTER clearing the security checkpoint. Or
With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness.