Criminal Justice Icon

Criminal Justice

The Bill of Rights protects us against suspicionless searches and seizures. It guarantees due process to individuals who are accused of crimes and humane treatment to those who are incarcerated. The ACLU works to ensure that our criminal justice system indeed is just.

Logo of the ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice
Washington Needs Bail Reform:  No Money, No Freedom

Topic Resources

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 30, 2012
At a press conference in the State Capitol, family members of murder victims talked about why the death penalty does not meet their needs. They urged passage of legislation to replace the death penalty in Washington with life in prison without parole.
Published: 
Thursday, November 8, 2012
California voters narrowly rejected Proposition 34, a ballot measure to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole. Although a majority of voters chose to retain the death penalty, the fact that close to half the voters supported repeal represents a dramatic shift away from capital punishment.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Pierce County Jail is adopting new policies to protect the religious freedom of inmates, according to a settlement agreement announced today by the ACLU of Washington and the Public Interest Law Group, PLLC (PILG).  The settlement is a result of a lawsuit that challenged jail officials’ failure to accommodate the religious needs of Muslim inmates and their operation of a program that granted extra benefits and services to Christian inmates. The ACLU-WA and PILG filed the suit (Tarrer v. Pierce County) in U.S. District Court in Tacoma in September 2010 on behalf of inmates at the jail.
Published: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
This article first appeared on the blog of Safe and Just Alternatives, a campaign working to end capital punishment in our state. At the age of 16, my boyfriend Jason Baldwin faced the death penalty for a crime he did not commit.  Twice offered leniency in exchange for testifying against his best friend, Jason – without hesitation – refused both deals.  Had he taken the second deal, he likely would have been released on good behavior within roughly two years.
Published: 
Friday, May 11, 2012
As of May 10, there is one less person on Washington’s death row. The Washington Supreme Court’s overturning of Darold Stenson’s murder conviction provides a vital lesson about the flaws of our system of capital punishment.
Published: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
If there truly is reason to believe there is evidence of a crime in a vehicle, it is easy enough for the officer to secure the vehicle and obtain a warrant. It’s only in cases where a warrant would be difficult to obtain — cases where there is nothing more than a hunch at play — that this exception comes into play.
Published: 
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Earlier today, the ACLU of Washington joined a number of allies in the immigrant rights community, including El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria and CASA Latina, at a press conference in opposition to the ever-expanding Secure Communities (S Comm) program. The press conference was a response to the federal government's move last week, with very little fanfare or publicity, to activate the program for all counties in Washington. Here's why that's bad news for every community in Washington.
Published: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The ACLU of Washington’s offices are graced with moving and inspiring photos, including many of our past clients. Occupying pride of place in the ACLU conference room, however, is a vintage photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, April 4, 2012, marks the 44th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination.
Published: 
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Isn’t it time to stop this approach to criminal justice? Don’t we have better things to spend the money on? Inspired by David Letterman, here is our list of 10 Ideas for saving money by putting fewer people in prisons and jails, and being “smart” on criminal justice instead of simply being punitive.
Published: 
Friday, March 2, 2012
Aside from the jail time and fees and fines that may be imposed as part of a misdemeanor sentence, there can be life-long consequences of a misdemeanor charge. In connection with our work on criminal records issues, the ACLU has heard from numerous individuals denied housing or jobs because of a misdemeanor on their record.

Pages