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03 November 2011 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Imagine if there were a group of students more likely than their peers to be depressed. Imagine if they were more likely to be bullied, to get low grades, to be suicidal. Imagine if they were ultimately more likely to be victims of violence.  For young people who are harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, these things aren’t hard to imagine. That’s because they’re unfortunate daily realities for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students — and for straight or gender-conforming students who are perceived as LGBT. When school days are spent hearing homophobic slurs or avoiding transphobic bullying, it’s hard to study, to make friends, to be happy, or even to feel safe. It’s even harder when you’re trying to do it all alone.  Now imagine there’s a way to help those students.

I Am Troy Davis

21 September 2011 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Last night, Georgia strapped down an innocent human being and forced lethal poison into his veins until he died. In your name; in my name, unashamed and unhesitating.

The ACLU of Utah Legislative Activist Blog: Immigration Reform in Utah

24 January 2011 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
Monday, January 24, 2011 marked the beginning of the 59th General session of the Utah State Legislature. The opportunities that rest in the hands of our elected officials are extraordinary. What happens during this general session of the legislature will affect people’s lives for years to come. The question is whether that effect will be positive or negative  

My view: Fair trial integral to American values

20 June 2010 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
My view: Fair trial integral to American valuesBy Darcy Goddard Originally published in the Deseret News, Monday, June 21 2010 >> No matter what you think of the death penalty, we can all agree that capital cases are riveting. They're like a seven-car pileup on the highway; we just can't look away. This past week, Ronnie Lee Gardner became the third person since 1976 to be executed by firing squad in this country. His case generated a worldwide media frenzy, intended to captivate us all. And so it did. But by Friday, June 18, the morning after the execution, the fact of Gardner's death began receding from our collective consciousness. We are unlikely to consider it again, if ever, until the next execution-related media frenzy. We pay much less attention to smaller, non-death cases or even to potential death cases that end in acquittals. How many of us even knew, for example, that another (formerly capital) Utah murder defendant, Wade Maughan, was fully acquitted last week? The press covered every stage of Gardner's impending death. By contrast, they hardly addressed Maughan's acquittal, which was awarded despite a lengthy 2005 videotaped "confession" by the defendant. Missing almost completely was any discussion…

Utah Activists Form Group to Oppose the Death Penalty

09 June 2010 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
The ACLU recognizes that the death penalty is the ultimate denial of civil liberties and violates the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. There is also a growing public concern that the nation’s death penalty system lacks fairness and reliability, a concern fueled by the increasing number of exonerations of those who were on death row across the country. Many of these exonerations were made possible by the relatively recent advances in DNA and other scientific testing. Recognizing that capital punishment is not only costly but has also failed to deter crime, more than a dozen states have abolished the death penalty over the last several years. Increasingly, families of murder victims, the faith community, law enforcement officials, attorneys, and sensible individuals of all political stripes are coming together to oppose this system. For over a year, activists and organizers have been meeting regularly to discuss how to best address death penalty issues in Utah and decided to form an official coalition. The group, Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (UTADP), of which the ACLU of Utah is a founding member, is a statewide coalition of secular and religious organizations, as well as concerned individuals dedicated to…

Death Penalty Unconstitutional, Says Justice Stevens

09 May 2010 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist
On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gave an interview at the annual conference of the 5th Judicial Circuit in Chicago, and explained his changed view on the death penalty. In 1976, Justice Stevens was among the majority opinion in Gregg v. Georgia, the Supreme Court decision that found the death penalty does not violate the Eighth or 14th Amendments, thereby reinstating it. But at Wednesday's event, he explained his change of heart. Read more >>

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