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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
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.


Friday, June 11, 2010
A recent study confirms that despite a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing racial bias in jury selection, the problem remains rampant in the South. But did you know that the problem has been raised repeatedly in cases in Washington State too? Read more

911 Good Samaritan Law Wallet Card

Document, Published: 
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Help save lives. Download our free wallet card to learn more about how Washington's 911 Good Samaritan Law could protect you from prosecution for drug possession when reporting an overdose.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The focus of investigations of gang activity should be on actual criminal acts, not on whether an individual “belongs to” a gang—the label is a distraction rather than a useful tool. Allocating our scarce law enforcement resources on the basis of whether someone looks like a gang member, rather than whether we think someone has committed a crime, virtually guarantees that we will get no closer to solving the issue of gang violence. 
Friday, June 4, 2010
With 5% of the world's population, the United States today boasts 25% of its prison population. Despite declining crime rates in the last three decades (even in the midst of our current recession), rates of incarceration in the U.S. have been stunning. The Economist recently called this trend "a disgrace."   Read more
Monday, May 17, 2010
Last Thursday, the AP ran a ground-breaking piece of investigative journalism. It spelled out how U.S. taxpayers have financed a $1 trillion "War on Drugs" that, 40 years after its launch, has failed to meet any of its declared goals. That's putting it mildly.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Check out this video of Alison Holcomb, ACLU-WA Drug Policy Director, debating the merits of the War on Drugs with renowned criminal justice Professor Mark Kleiman, WA Department of Corrections Secretary Eldon Vail, King County Superior Court Judge Wesley Saint Clair, and King County Prosecutor Mark Larson.
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Friday, April 23, 2010
The ACLU of Washington has filed an amicus brief urging the court to condemn the attorney’s conduct in State v. Kevin Monday in which a King County prosecutor made appeals to racial prejudice in a criminal jury trial.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ground-breaking ruling that pervasive racial discrimination in the state’s criminal justice system results in minorities with felony convictions disproportionately being prevented from voting, violating the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.  
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The April 18, 2006 testimony of the ACLU legal program director before the Public Safety, Governmental Relations and Arts Committee of the Seattle City Council.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Jurors’ derogatory comments about the Japanese ethnicity of an attorney indicated racial bias that undermined a man’s right to a fair trial. The ACLU-WA is urging the Washington Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court ruling that ordered a new trial.