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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.
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The death penalty is arbitrary, unfair, and racially biased.  The ACLU of Washington argued before the Washington Supreme Court to end it.


News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
The ACLU-WA has filed a petition asking the Washington Supreme Court to direct the Grant County District Court to comply with a Supreme Court ruling that requires them to determine a person’s ability to pay court system debts known as Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) before imposing these debts. When courts impose LFOs on people who cannot afford to pay them, individuals remain trapped in debt, stuck in poverty, and tied to the criminal justice system. Although the suit focuses on Grant County, similar practices exist in many courts around the state.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 3, 2017
The ACLU of Washington has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Office of Public Defense (OPD)— the state agency responsible for public defense in Washington— for failing to enforce minimum standards of public defense in Grays Harbor County.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The State of Washington has paid over $12 million dollars in fines for failing to comply with a federal court’s order regarding timely provision of mental health services to those waiting for jail and for such services. The State of WA fined $12 million failing to comply with a federal court’s order regarding timely provision of mental health services to those waiting for jail.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, February 24, 2017
Taxpayers spent $1,316,203,624 on DWLS III enforcement between 1994 and 2015
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
When it comes to how healthy you are, money matters— a lot.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
On October 6, 2016, the Yakima County Superior Court granted preliminary approval to a class action settlement reached in Fuentes v. Benton County, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the county’s system for collecting court-imposed debts.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
The ACLU of Washington recently filed friend of the court briefs in three cases urging the Washington Supreme Court to align the law with developments in brain science.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
The Washington Supreme Court has reversed a lower court order that sought to collect discretionary legal financial obligations (LFOs, or court-imposed fees) from an indigent woman struggling to meet her basic living needs on social security disability payments.