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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.
Stop the school to prison pipeline
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Washington Needs Bail Reform:  Download No Money, No Freedom
Driven to Fail: Exposing the costs & ineffectiveness of Washington's most commonly charged crime
The death penalty is arbitrary, unfair, and racially biased.  The ACLU of Washington argued before the Washington Supreme Court to end it.

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Published: 
Friday, May 31, 2013
When people are convicted of a crime, they expect to be sentenced to jail time or probation.  But there are other long-lasting consequences – and these can be unfair and counter-productive.
Published: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Recently, a group of community organizations released Facing Race, a report that assesses that the voting records of Washington state legislators in promoting racial equity. Notably, the report recognizes ending the death penalty is one change that our state representatives should make to advance the goal of racial justice in Washington.
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.

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