Stories from the ACLU of Washington

Published: 
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
Published: 
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Government surveillance of political activists without any suspicion of wrongdoing is unfortunately all too familiar, but recent events and evidence show that the problem is increasingly widespread. The ACLU-WA is working to keep its fingers on the pulse of the surveillance state and ensure that laws and policies are in place to safeguard our civil liberties. To help you see the big picture, we’ve created a new feature on our website highlighting what we've learned so far. Read more
Published: 
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. 
Published: 
Friday, June 4, 2010
In passing the Healthy Youth Act in 2007, Washington’s legislature affirmed that our youth need comprehensive and accurate sex education. It is now up to all of us to make sure that the spirit of the law is honored in our communities; by doing this, we can take a large step toward protecting the reproductive health of our youth. Read more
Published: 
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
Published: 
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Law enforcement agencies around the country and across the state have a powerful new tool to effortlessly identify and track you while you drive, and it is a real threat to your privacy. In other words, the cops want to data-mine your driving habits.
Published: 
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Yesterday, we got word that Seattle’s aggressive panhandling ordinance has officially died—the city council was unable to overturn Mayor McGinn’s veto. The action came after pressure from the ACLU of Washington, Real Change News, and various other community organizations. The groups opposed the proposed law as an unnecessary measure – Seattle already has a law against “aggressive panhandling” – that scapegoated homeless people rather than addressing real problems of public.  If enforced, the measure likely would lead to more poor people being thrown into the criminal justice system after they are unable to pay fines.
Published: 
Monday, May 24, 2010
As reported by the Peninsula Gateway, recently “drug-sniffing dogs from multiple agencies visited Gig Harbor High School” to sniff out any illicit drugs. What exactly did the dogs find? Upon searching a student’s car, “a trace amount of marijuana shake was found in the cup holders and center console area, but no quantity was located for destruction or booking, according to the Gig Harbor Police Department.” “Trace amounts,” in one car, that’s it. So was treating every student at the school like a criminal suspect worth it?
Published: 
Friday, May 21, 2010
The right to obtain government documents is an important right for all people in Washington. It helps the public know what the government is doing and hold government agencies and officials accountable for their actions.
Published: 
Friday, May 21, 2010
The Seattle Channel facilitated an interactive discussion last week focusing on marijuana policy in Seattle.  It included live and online audience participation.  ACLU of Washington Drug Policy Director Alison Holcomb was included on a panel of experts for the event.  Click through to see the video.

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