NAACP Legal Defense Fund : Defend, Educate, Empower

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"The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is simply the best civil rights law firm in American history." -- President Obama

Criminal Justice Cases and Issues

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Program Work

Fair Sentencing

Reforming California's "Three Strikes" Policy

At the time it was enacted in 1994, California’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law, was widely considered to be the harshest sentencing law in the United States. Thousands of people have been sentenced to life in prison for minor crimes like simple drug possession and petty theft.


Capital Punishment

Rosales v. Quarterman

Mariano Rosales spent more than 23 years on Texas’s death row after being convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death by a Harris County (Houston) jury from which African Americans and Latinos were excluded because of their race.  Between 1985 and 2008, Mr. Rosales consistently...

Abuse of Police Discretion

Tolan v. Cotton

On Monday, April 5, 2014, the United States Supreme Court announced that the excessive force lawsuit filed by Washington Nationals baseball player, Robbie Tolan,...

Fair Sentencing

United States v. Blewett

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, the full (en banc) United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard oral arguments in U.S. v. Blewett, to decide whether the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) of 2010 -- which reduced the federal government's notorious 100:1...