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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.

Resources

Published: 
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees every person the right to a fair trial.  However, if the prosecution is making racist remarks and presenting racially-charged evidence throughout the trial, this right is violated.
Published: 
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to enact a law that would prevent employers from automatically rejecting any applicant with a criminal record.  The goal of the bill, sponsored by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, is to reduce the long-term effects of a criminal record by allowing applicants to be considered on their merits before being denied simply because of a record.
News Release, Published: 
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
A landmark lawsuit to ensure fairness for the accused in Grant County has concluded with major improvements in the county’s felony indigent defense system. The suit wrapped up in April after seven years of court-ordered monitoring – the first time a county public defense system in Washington had undergone such comprehensive oversight. The suit was brought by the ACLU of Washington and Columbia Legal Services.
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.

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