Friday, November 2, 2007

ACLU Policy Update

Capital Punishment in North Carolina
On October 2nd, the Council of State once again took up the issue of capital punishment in North Carolina, this time in response to an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ’s) finding that it was improper for the Council to adopt a protocol in February on the recommendation of the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the AG’s office without first hearing from attorneys representing death row inmates. This week, the Council was voting on whether to adopt the ALJ’s findings and reconsider the protocol after hearing from those opposing the protocol. Unfortunately, the Council disagreed with the ALJ and voted not to reconsider the protocol, 9-1. Jim Long was the only Council member who voted against the motion. His email is, if you would like to thank him for his vote. Meanwhile, NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall commented that she had received at least 200 emails from concerned citizens and called the messages “inappropriate.” She said that she did not read any of the emails. Her email address is, if you would like to drop her a line explaining why constituent email to an elected official on matters of public concern is always appropriate.
This does not mean that executions will resume anytime soon. There is still a pending challenge to the constitutionality of lethal injection and the Medical Board still has time to challenge the decision, handed down on September 21st, which prevents the Board from punishing doctors who participate in executions. Stay tuned for further updates.
Training for Local Activists in Advancing LGBT Equality

Join the ACLU’s national LGBT Project in Lexington, Kentucky November 8th-11th for an interactive skills-building training for local activists. This training will be for local activists wanting to take charge and make a change by passing gay-friendly policies in cities, towns or counties in North Carolina and across the southeast. This two and-a-half day workshop will give you the training, networks and resources to jump-start a campaign in your area - be it to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance, anti-bullying school board policy or to create a domestic partner registry. Topics include message development, coalition building, lobbying, media strategies and volunteer management.

You will be interacting with other activists and leaders from surrounding states that want to create change for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals and their families. The training will be provided by the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project of the ACLU; leaders and elected officials from Kentucky will be invited to come share their experiences and insights. Past attendees have all taken a lot away from this training and effected real change in their communities.

For more information, contact:

Nora Ranney
Legislative & Field Strategist
212-549-2661 office

Local Screenings of “The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib”

In conjunction with our congressional efforts to stop torture and rendition, the ACLU Washington Legislative Office is coordinating local house viewings of “The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib” between now and the end of December. If you are interested in hosting a viewing in your home of this film to educate others on torture, please contact me.

Mark Your Calendar for Frank Porter Graham!

Our annual Frank Porter Graham Awards Ceremony will be held in the Triangle on Wednesday, February 13th, 2008. We will send you more information about time, place and honorees as we continue planning!

In the meantime, if you would like to nominate an award recipient, the steering committee is looking for nominations of deserving groups, individuals, or organizations. Here is the nominating information:

name and contact information of nominee (please include nominee's phone number and email address)
why this nominee is deserving of an award at our 2008 FPG Awards Ceremony -- please describe their efforts in the civil liberties arena and explain what kind of impact they have made
for which award, specifically, are you nominating this candidate (if you wish to state a specific award)
YOUR name and contact information, in case our Committee has follow-up questions
Awards are as follows:
Frank Porter Graham Award -- this is our most prestigious award, given annually to a group or individual who has made a significant contribution in the efforts to advance civil liberties in North Carolina. Although there are no specific criteria, this award has traditionally been given in appreciation for longstanding dedication to the fight for individual freedom and civil liberties, reflecting work that has taken place in North Carolina over a period of years or decades.
ACLU of North Carolina Award -- this award also reflects a deep commitment to preserving and defending civil liberties in North Carolina, but is typically given for work that is more immediate and of a more specific, finite scope.
Paul Green Award -- this award is given by the Paul Green Foundation every year, to honor efforts by individuals or groups to abolish or limit the death penalty in North Carolina.
Norman Smith Award -- this award is presented from time to time by the ACLU-NC Board of Directors to someone who has volunteered extraordinary time and effort in service to the ACLU of North Carolina.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And please save the date to join us on February 13th for a terrific evening

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