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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Free Speech

RALEIGH – U.S. attorneys have still not taken all promised steps to provide relief to potentially hundreds of federal inmates in North Carolina whose convictions or sentences have since been found improper, the American Civil Liberties Union and its North Carolina and Massachusetts affiliates wrote in an Oct. 12 letter to federal officials. The letter comes more than a month after the U.S. Department of Justice vowed to take “concrete steps” to provide appropriate relief.

In August the ACLU asked the Justice Department to take immediate action to identify and assist all federal inmates in North Carolina who remain incarcerated for violating federal gun possession laws even though a 2011 decision by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. Simmons has since found that it was not federal crime for them to have a gun.

In an Oct. 12 letter to H. Marshall Jarrett, Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the ACLU writes that the Justice Department continues to oppose post-conviction relief for the vast majority of improperly sentenced inmates and that U.S. attorneys in the Western District of North Carolina are “still prolonging the incarceration of innocent people” by failing to respond in a timely manner to motions for relief.

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RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) sent a letter to officials from the Town of Chapel Hill on Friday, urging them to “safeguard cherished First Amendment rights and its reputation as a community welcoming of dialogue” by allowing a recent controversial advertisement to remain on city buses.

The letter was sent after the ACLU-NCLF received numerous complaints from Chapel Hill residents concerned by a proposal from some town officials to remove a public bus advertisement paid for by the Church of Reconciliation and featuring a Palestinian and an Israeli man holding their grandchildren with text reading, “Join with us. Build peace with justice and equality. End U.S. military aid to Israel.”

In its letter, the ACLU-NCLF explains that removing the ad solely because of disagreement with its content, as some officials have proposed, would constitute subject matter and viewpoint discrimination in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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The ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation hosted a free "Know Your Rights" webinar on Aug. 20 for demonstrators, journalists, and others attending the upcoming Democratic National Convention from Sept. 3 to 6.

Panelists included:
-Moderator: Mike Meno (ACLU-NC)
-Chris Brook, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina
-Bob Hagemann, Charlotte City Attorney
-Mark Newbold, Deputy City Attorney, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
-Joseph Blocher, Associate Professor of Law, Duke University

Overview:
-First Amendment rights
-Maps and parade routes
-Policies for photos, videos, and searches

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From Sept. 3 through 6, the eyes of the world will be on Charlotte, North Carolina, as thousands of journalists, political activists and demonstrators descend on the city for the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Going to the DNC? Make sure you know your rights by referencing this one-page guide put together by the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation.