DIAMONDHEAD, MISS. -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi sent an open letter to the Diamondhead Property Owners Association (POA) on Monday on behalf of several residents of the City of Diamondhead who have complained that the POA's rules, regulations, and covenants do not permit them to display political yard signs or engage in door-to-door campaigning. The City of Diamondhead is in the midst of its first municipal elections since incorporation in 2012.
In the open letter, the ACLU called on the POA to assure residents that it would refrain from enforcing its covenants, rules, and regulations that impermissibly violate its members' First Amendment rights. Read More
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant alone has the power to save Willie Manning, who is scheduled to die tomorrow, May 7, 2013. Mississippi is steamrolling toward execution even though there is compelling evidence that Willie Manning may be an innocent man.
Manning's case has many of the hallmarks of those of other innocent death row exonerees: false snitch testimony, junk science, and racial bias. The prosecutors in Manning's case, like in all too many cases, stacked the deck by systematically removing African-American jurors from Manning's trial. Manning, an African-American man, was convicted of the murders of two white college students. Read More
“On May 7th, 2013, Mississippi is scheduled to execute Willie Manning despite questions about his innocence. Much of the key evidence that led to Manning’s sentence of death has turned out to be a sham. One witness has admitted that he lied in his testimony and there was never any physical evidence Manning was involved in the deaths of two college students. The FBI has conceded that it wrongly testified about a “match” between a hair found in a victim’s car and Manning, admitting science supported no such thing. Since 1994, Manning has been requesting DNA testing that would prove his innocence. The FBI is willing to do the testing. Ask Governor Bryant to grant a stay and allow DNA testing.”
Read the ACLU Blog of Rights
(Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed the state of Alabama, and gave a win to the Obama administration, by declining to review a lower court ruling that had blocked a controversial part of the state's tough immigration law. Read the full story on Rueters.
Jackson, MS - The ACLU of Mississippi supports constitutionally protected, voluntary student-led prayer in school for students who want to pray. What ACLU-MS does not support is any policy or practice that violates the Constitution. This includes the practice of schools promoting one religious belief over another, therefore making a child of a different belief feel like an outsider or ostracized. It is the position of ACLU that religious education is best left to parents and their children, not public school officials. When school officials promote religion, they infringe on parents’ rights to decide what religious beliefs, if any, their children are taught. Read More
JACKSON, MS – "The immigration reform bill proposed by the so-called 'Gang of 8' has the potential to be a historic advance for the civil rights and liberties of immigrants and all Americans," said Amelia McGowan, Staff Attorney of the ACLU of Mississippi. "The bill would allow millions of immigrants who contribute immeasurably to the vitality of this country to step forward on the road to citizenship." Mississippi is home to over 61,000 immigrants, according to U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010. Read More
Jackson, MS – April 16, The ACLU-MS, a non-profit organization that defends the Constitution and extends liberty to all persons applauds the decision by United States District Judge Daniel Jordan III to uphold reproductive justice for Mississippi women.
U.S. District Judge Jordan today blocked enforcement of a law that could have closed the doors of the only abortion clinic in Mississippi. The law imposes medically unjustified regulations that require all doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The Admitting Privileges portion of the law was politically motivated and designed to make it impossible for women to obtain the care they need in Mississippi. If not for District Judge Jordan's decision, women of Mississippi would have most certainly been deprived their Constitutional Rights.
“Today’s court decision should serve as a reminder to extremist politicians that the Constitution and the rights and protections therein are available to all, including women and their right to private decision-making,” said Jennifer Riley-Collins, Executive Director of ACLU-MS. “Unfortunately, we are seeing politicians across the country attempting to push through similarly drastic measures. ACLU-MS will remain vigilant in its support of reproductive justice in Mississippi." Download the decision
Jackson, MS – April 8, 2013: The ACLU-MS, a non-profit organization that defends the Constitutinal rights and extends liberty to all persons announced the appointment of its new Executive Director, Jennifer A. Riley-Collins. Ms. Riley-Collins, a native Mississippian, is an attorney with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and equality. She brings 14 years of legal experience, along with more than 25 years of leadership and organizational management both as an attorney and a military officer. Read more
1 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday, March 6, 2013
CONTACT: Bear Atwood, (601) 354-3408; firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Rosenthal, (212) 549-2582; email@example.com
JACKSON, MS– American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi and affiliates in 23 other states today simultaneously filed public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas.
“Equipping state and local law enforcement with military weapons and vehicles, military tactical training, and actual military assistance to conduct traditional law enforcement erodes civil liberties and encourages increasingly aggressive policing, particularly in poor neighborhoods and communities of color,” said Kara Dansky, senior counsel for ACLU’s Center for Justice. “We’ve seen examples of this in several localities, but we don’t know the dimensions of the problem.”
Civil Rights Groups Unveil Findings on the Dangers of Extreme School Policies, and Recommend Alternative Solutions
The extreme student discipline practices that led the Department of Justice to sue one Mississippi county are far more widespread than previously thought, cites a new report from a coalition of civil rights organizations.
Titled Handcuffs on Success: The Extreme School Discipline Crisis in Mississippi Public Schools, the report details how extreme school disciplinary practices harm tens of thousands of Mississippi students who are removed from school every year for minor misbehaviors, such as violating dress codes and mouthing off to teachers. Many are also criminalized in the process. It also shows how this approach likewise harms teachers, law enforcement officials, community members at large, and the state’s economy.
Mississippi Student Civic Engagement Day, From the CLASSROOM to the CAPITOL
Over 80 Mississippi students, parents, teachers, and youth advocates will attended the 1stAnnual ACLU of MS’s From the CLASSROOM to the CAPITOL! Students from around the state participated in morning workshops prior to going to the Capitol to meet state leaders. Student leaders delivered the MISSISSIPPI STUDENT BILL OF RIGHTS which was created by students to address issues that concern them most and that prevent their success in their schools and communities, and for their future. Download the Mississippi Student Bill of Rights