2015 February

  • 02.27.15

    The Reality for Ohio Women Today

    Pregnant Women

    Last week, the ACLU of Ohio reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a single mother, Jennifer Maudlin.

    According to Maudlin, Inside Out, Inc., a Christian-based childcare facility, fired her under an unwritten company policy against non-marital sex after she informed them she was pregnant.

  • 02.25.15

    Recognizing African-American Advocates, Past and Present

    Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]
    James Weldon Johnson

    Black History Month is a time to celebrate and reflect on African-Americans who have made great contributions to our country. The ACLU wants to acknowledge the impact of black activists, both past and present, who have made our work stronger.

  • 02.24.15

    American Bar Association Opposes Automatic Shackling of Juveniles in Court

    Handcuffs

    This is the fourth in a series of posts on the topic of juvenile shackling.

    More often than not, progress happens in steps. That was certainly true of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) evolving policy on juvenile justice.

    In 2014, the ABA passed a resolution urging the “development of trauma-informed, evidence-based approaches and practices on behalf of justice system involved children and youth who have been exposed to violence, including child abuse and neglect or other crimes and those subject to delinquency or status offence proceedings.”

    The resolution also noted that, “Some routine juvenile justice practices, such as solitary confinement, isolation, and restraint, can further traumatize youth and cause them additional harm.”

    Read What is Shackling?

  • 02.20.15

    Ohio Votes: Real Versus Imagined Problems

    Jon Husted

    There are those who operate under the theory that if something is said long enough and loud enough it becomes reality.

    The more cynical among us believe it doesn’t matter if the something said is true or not, so long as people believe it is. 

  • 02.18.15

    One Woman, Three Words: “We Shall Overcome”

    Louise Shropshire Collection at the University of Cincinnati
    Louise Shropshire

    “Someday, somebody’s going to do something with my music.” These were the last words uttered by Louise Shropshire, a Cincinnati choir director and composer.

    Somebody did do something with her music. One of her hymns became the anthem of the civil rights movement.

  • 02.16.15

    Why Cops Can’t Get Respect

    Memo to the police nationwide: You say you want respect, but you don’t seem to have even a hint of a clue on how to earn it. Here are some suggestions:

    Show Respect and It Will Be Reciprocated

    This starts with the mayor of your city.

  • 02.14.15

    Undocumented: Safe for Now, But for How Long?

    Justice for Immigrants

    Last November, President Obama announced a package of executive actions that would provide some protection to more than 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

    One of those executive actions expanded Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for children who entered the United States before the age of 16.

  • 02.11.15

    Could Online Voting Be in Your Future?

    Voting Online

    You know the stories: thousands of people disenfranchised at the polls because of identification issues; workers unable to vote because of limited voting hours; and those long, long lines of voters at the polls during national elections.

    Judging from accounts like these, it is hard to doubt that certain voting laws make access to the polls increasingly difficult for greater numbers of people.

  • 02.09.15

    Extreme Sentence is Essentially Life Without Parole

    Prison Cell Blocks

    Should you spend life in prison for something you did as a teenager?

    That is the question that was put before the Ohio Supreme Court last Wednesday in Moore v. State of Ohio.

    In Mahoning County in 2002, Brandon Moore was tried and convicted as an adult for armed kidnapping, robbery and gang rape.

  • 02.06.15

    I Spoke From the Heart and Lost My Job

    Photo of execution chamber

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 

    Martin Luther King Jr.

    King’s words echo in my ears whenever people state how we should be careful when we write or speak about what we truly believe in.

  • 02.04.15

    No Executions in 2015! Now’s the Time for Real Reform

    Photo of execution chamber

    The end of 2014 was not a good moment in Ohio’s long and sordid history with the death penalty.

    In the final weeks of session, the General Assembly passed House Bill 663 (HB 663), which shrouded executions in unnecessary and dangerous secrecy that could lead to yet another botched execution.

  • 02.02.15

    Seeking the Right Questions On Race and Criminal Justice Reform

    Protesters
    Photograph courtesy of Rachel Woods

    You will never find a solution without asking the right questions.

    Last week, Columbus hosted two different gatherings intended to address tensions between communities of color and law enforcement. While part of the same conversation, both brought different people and different approaches to find solutions.