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

News Updates

  • Case of Eyewitness vs. Alibi Raises Question of Defense Lawyers’ Competence

    5/02/11

    Richard Rosario was convicted of a murder that took place on Turnbull Avenue in the Bronx on June 19, 1996, based on the testimony of two witnesses who had picked his picture out of a book of mug shots.

    There was no other evidence linking him to the crime. He did not know the victim, and he did not know the witnesses. And there is powerful evidence that he was in Florida that entire month.

    The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide next week whether to hear Mr. Rosario’s appeal, which claims his lawyers badly bungled his alibi defense.

  • Leading Civil Rights Groups Urge Department of Justice to Require Florida to Submit Voting Change for Review

    5/02/11

    Announced Changes to Voting Have Not Been Approved by Department of Justice

    (New York, NY) – Today, the nation’s leading civil rights organizations, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), NAACP, Florida State Conference of the NAACP, and the Advancement Project, called upon the United States Department of Justice to require the State of Florida to submit for review its recent changes to rules governing the restoration of voting rights to persons with felony convictions.

  • Court Rules Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Death Sentence is Unconstitutional, Grants New Sentencing Hearing

    4/27/11

    The case of Pennsylvania death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn Tuesday when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declared his death sentence unconstitutional. It is the second time the court has agreed with a lower court judge who set aside Abu-Jamal’s death sentence after finding jurors were given confusing instructions that encouraged them to choose death rather than a life sentence. Now Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther and journalist, could get a new sentencing hearing in court.

  • Supreme Court imposes limits on class actions in case over 'free' call phone

    4/27/11

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday limited the ability of people to combine forces and fight corporations together when they want to dispute contracts for cell phones, cable television and other services, a move consumer advocates called a crushing blow.

    In a 5-4 ideological split, the high court’s conservatives said businesses can block their customers from using class actions. The court said the federal arbitration law trumps state laws that invalidate contracts banning class actions.

  • Capital punishment: America's worst crime

    4/27/11

    The death penalty case of Mumia Abu-Jamal took a surprising turn this week, as a federal appeals court declared, for the second time, that Abu-Jamal's death sentence was unconstitutional. The third US circuit court of appeals, in Philadelphia, found that the sentencing instructions the jury received, and the verdict form they had to use in the sentencing, were unclear. While the disputes surrounding Abu-Jamal's guilt or innocence were not addressed, the case highlights inherent problems with the death penalty and the criminal justice system, especially the role played by race.