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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Due Process

The American Civil Liberties Union this weekend released the results of public records requests filed last August to hundreds of local police departments across the country, asking them about their policies, practices, and procedures for tracking cell phone records.

More than 40 of the police departments that responded are from North Carolina, including the counties of Alamance, Buncombe, Guilford, and New Hanover, and the cities of Asheville, Burlington, Chapel Hill, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Fayetteville, Greenville, High Point, Raleigh, and Wilmington.

As The New York Times reported on Sunday, the records show that the practice of tracking cell phones “has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight.”


The U.S. Justice Department today released findings of an investigation showing that North Carolina's court system routinely discriminates against people who do not speak English, in violation of Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act. Title VI prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin by state courts.

In a letter to the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, the Justice Department “determined after a comprehensive investigation that the AOC's policies and practices discriminate on the basis of national origin, in violation of federal law, by failing to provide limited English proficient (LEP) individuals with meaningful access to state court proceedings and operations.”

Katy Parker, Legal Director of the ACLU of NC Legal Foundation, said the findings were a step in the right direction.


Raleigh, NC – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of North Carolina today urged North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue to veto a bill passed earlier this week repealing the state’s historic Racial Justice Act (RJA), which gives prisoners on death row the chance to argue their sentences were the result of racial bias.

In a letter to the governor, the ACLU argues the act, passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Perdue in 2009, is essential to ensuring defendants receive the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law. The letter also argues there is no chance any current death row prisoner would go free as a result of a successful challenge of their sentence under the law, as state prosecutors have wrongly warned and says there is no evidence to suggest implementation of the law has thus far proved a burden upon the state’s court system.

“To abandon the RJA now, before any hearings under the fledgling law can be held would … put North Carolina in danger of executing a person based on race rather than the crime committed,” the ACLU’s letter reads.


RALEIGH - United States Magistrate Judge William A. Webb today recommended that a case go forward in which the U.S. government wrongly deported an American citizen. The ruling recommended denying a motion by the U.S. government to dismiss a lawsuit filed on behalf of Mark Lyttle (pictured), a U.S. citizen of Puerto Rican descent with mental disabilities who was wrongfully deported to Mexico in 2008 and forced to endure over four months of living on the streets and in the shelters and prisons of Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in October 2010.

“What our government did to Mark Lyttle, one of its own citizens, is unconscionable, and we are pleased that the court today recommended that the case go forward,” said Katy Parker, Legal Director for the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation. “Even though Mark was born and raised in Rowan County, North Carolina, immigration officials made scarcely any effort to confirm his citizenship. Instead, they unjustly shipped this poor man off to a country where he didn’t even speak the language, inflicting severe emotional harm in the process.”