Today’s video should be of interest for anyone wondering about the legality of making videos of police activity. A number of recent court case decisions have upheld the right of citizens to video and record events that take place in public settings. But what if you are challenged while exercising this fundamental right? This ACLU […]
By Thomas Ultican / Tultican
A story of intrigue, real education reform and wealthy ignorance.
A film maker, Rita Grant, called asking me to join an expert education panel at San Diego State University (SDSU). She said she found me when reading Diane Ravitch’s blog and thought I would be a good fit. The event was a screening of the film “Go Public” at EnCorps’ Summer Residential Institute, followed by question and answers with the panel. I was not familiar with EnCorps, “Go Public” or Rita but nothing ventured nothing gained. So, I went.
I met a wonderful group of people, but their organization’s reason for being is misinformed. It’s another education reform organization created by a well-connected misinformed rich person with little relevant training or experience in education, Sherry Lansing. [Read more…]
By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access
Something outrageous is happening in our criminal justice system in San Diego. In a post-Proposition 64 world, after voters could not have sent a clearer message about acceptance of the cannabis industry, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is busy making enemies of some of the most effective leaders who have emerged.
Bonnie thumbs her nose at voters while nearly dancing toward a seat on the county board supervisors. Particularly shocking in this prosecution is the targeting of cannabis attorney, Jessica McElfresh who has represented several of the newly-licensed collectives under the city’s ordinance. [Read more…]
In California, bail insurance corporations’ impact and influence is exposed as the Legislature considers reforms to the state’s unjust and costly money bail system
By ACLU San Diego and Imperial Counties
On May 11th, Color Of Change and the American Civil Liberties Union’s Campaign for Smart Justice released a scathing national report exposing insurance corporations’ hand in creating an unnecessary and largely unaccountable $2 billion bail industry. The report, Selling Off Our Freedom: How Insurance Corporations Have Taken Over Our Bail System, outlines the insurance industry’s role in a money bail system that ensnares thousands of people in detention or debt – or both – as well as the industry’s significant impact and influence in California.
“We all want a justice system that works for everyone,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Director of the ACLU of California.“Sadly, the current money bail system puts bail insurance corporations’ profits before justice. These conglomerates reap tremendous benefits at low risk, while trapping people in debt and evading oversight. This is not a system of justice. It is a system of corporate greed.” [Read more…]
By Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation
Police in California have your data literally at their fingertips.
They can sit at a computer terminal or in their squad car and check your DMV records, your criminal records, your parking citations, any restraining orders you’ve filed or have been filed against you. They can search other state databases and even tap into the FBI’s trove. If you’ve got a snowmobile, they can look up that registration too. Much of this personal data they can access through a smartphone app. [Read more…]
By Udi Ofer / ACLU Blog
Attorney General Jeff Sessions knows that the United States is the world’s leading incarcerator. We imprison more people than any other nation in the world. But apparently he likes that distinction because he just doubled down on it, guaranteeing that more people will be locked up for drug offenses in America’s federal prisons.
Last week Sessions issued a new policy reversing the work done by former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. to reduce long mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. [Read more…]
By ACLU of California
Every year, California’s money bail system keeps thousands of people in jail before they get their day in court – all because they can’t afford to post bail and buy their freedom. The median bail amount in California is $50,000.
When this happens, people stay in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes years while their cases move forward, or plead guilty to a crime they may not have committed. [Read more…]
By Stephen Cooper
Ghoulishness envelops Arkansas’ decision to pump deadly drugs into eight men over the next fortnight. Although two of the eight scheduled executions have definitively been stayed — and judges have issued orders halting the remaining six — the state has been vigorously appealing these roadblocks.
Articles about “midazolam,” the drug whose expiration date prompted Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson to schedule this unprecedented mass execution are abuzz on the internet and social media. By this point many Americans have heard or are generally aware that while midazolam is supposed to render the condemned unconscious and insensate, it has been linked to a number of gruesome and botched executions in the United States. [Read more…]
“Any Democrat selling out by rubber-stamping Trump’s takeover of the Supreme Court should expect to hear from their constituents loud and clear”
By Deidre Fulton / Common Dreams
Fifteen Democrats (and one Independent) remain undecided on whether to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, according to one news outlet’s recent count.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on President Donald Trump’s nominee on Monday, April 3; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that a vote to confirm Gorsuch will take place on the Senate floor on Friday, April 7. The Senate goes on a two-week recess after that.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called for a filibuster, which would force Republicans to win 60 votes for Gorsuch’s nomination. Thirty Democrats (including Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont) have said they’ll support the filibuster. [Read more…]
Fifty-one stationary cameras, in 14 locations, together with six mobile devices added to the ones already installed on two police cars, will soon capture the license plate numbers of all cars passing through the Carlsbad. They’ll be submitted to a national database that tracks stolen vehicles and those involved in crimes.
At its March 14 meeting, on a 4 to 1 vote, the Carlsbad city Council approved the $802,000 plan to conduct surveillance of residents and non-residents alike.
The justification for placing everyone under suspicion until they’re cleared in cyberspace was driven by a misleading police report on the city’s crime rate. Only newly-elected Councilmember Cori Schumacher challenged the numbers and the threat to privacy rights. [Read more…]
By Ronald Newman / Speak Freely ACLU
On Saturday night, people at more than 2,200 events around the nation tuned in for the inaugural event of People Power, a new platform harnessing nationwide grassroots resistance to the Trump administration’s assault on our Constitution and our values. At the event, we announced “Freedom Cities,” a campaign that provides a concrete plan for the People Power team to play offense in cities and towns across the country. [Read more…]
The revised executive order has the same fundamental flaws. We’re going to keep fighting it.
By Cody Wofsy, Skadden Fellow, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project / ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties
Today President Trump signed a new Muslim ban. The new executive order is a major retreat by the administration, reflecting that, as courts around the country have recognized, the original order was deeply flawed and totally unjustified. But the fundamental truth of this new order, like the old one, remains unchanged: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and the ban is his attempt to make good on that unconstitutional and indefensible goal. [Read more…]