Life in Congress last week wasn't as entertaining as it was in Toronto.
That is, unless you love hearing about Obamacare all the time.
Assuming you don't, there is actually a lot going on in Congress before everyone turns into a pumpkin and leaves town for Thanksgiving. Several of our amazing lobbyists and litigators will be speaking on panels this coming week, sharing their expertise on a whole slew of issues, including privacy, criminal justice, and NSA surveillance.
Grammy Award-winning jazz bassist, composer, and singerEsperanza Spalding today released We Are America, a new music video highlighting the injustice of prolonged indefinite detention at the prison at Guantánamo Bay. She discusses her motivations for the project below.
Which rapper showed off his ACLU membership card in a new video by the ACLU of Washington?
What bill recently passed by the Senate would prevent employers from discriminating against workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity?
How many people have been sentenced to die behind bars for nonviolent crimes such as stealing tools from a toolshed or taking a wallet from a hotel room?
Alfredo Prieto sits alone 23 hours a day in a locked, seventy-square-feet box. The lights never go out.
According to trial records, Prieto grew up in tough circumstances in war-torn El Salvador, escaped with his family to California. He became involved in gangs and violent crime, culminating ultimately in his conviction for rape, larceny and double murder in Virginia. But during his eight-year incarceration, Prieto has been by all accounts a model prisoner. He is one of eight men who await execution on Virginia's death row.
It should outrage us that a homeless man will be in prison for the rest of his life because he was the middleman in the sale of $10 worth of marijuana. We can all pretty much agree that the punishment of growing old and dying behind bars for such offenses is a wildly extreme, tragic and wasteful overreaction to the crime.
But it should not surprise us. Cases like this man's are just the tip of the iceberg.
Looking for a Sunday evening activity? Look no further! Join the ACLU's Ben Wizner and other leading privacy advocates for an online screening of "Terms and Conditions May Apply," followed by an open discussion on Internet surveillance.
In criminal cases, defendants have a right to know what evidence the government plans to use against them and how the government gathered that evidence. This basic due process principle is essential: it allows defendants to test in court whether law enforcement officers obtained evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment.