Updated - May 3, 2021

The State of Illinois v. Williams (Amicus Brief)

Enforcing Police and Prosecutorial Accountability
The amicus brief supports a motion by the Cook County Public Defender that challenges the scientific validity of the ShotSpotter system’s gunfire reports, which prosecutors have attempted to use as evidence in a criminal prosecution. The basis of the brief comes from a study conducted by the MacArthur Justice Center, in partnership with the Invisible...

Filed - May 3, 2021

Updated - April 2, 2021

Lance v. Board of County Commissioners, et al

Health and Safety
Dustin Lance developed a painful and dangerous medical condition while in pretrial detention at the Pittsburg County Jail. He was in severe pain and pleaded with corrections officers for three days to help him. But they did not take him to the nurse or take any steps to provide the emergency medical care that he needed....

Filed - January 21, 2020

Updated - March 30, 2021

Terry v. United States

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Terry v. United States—a case before the U.S. Supreme Court—seeks to correct the unfair and incorrect exclusion of low-level crack offenders from relief clearly provided by the bipartisan First Step Act, passed by Congress in 2018. In an exciting development, the United States reversed its position in this case: the Department of Justice wrote a letter...

Filed - February 12, 2021

Updated - March 29, 2021

Ballentine v. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Rights of Protesters
Our clients, Brian Ballentine, Catalino Dazo, and Kelly Patterson, are members of the “Sunset Activist Collective,” an activist group in Las Vegas. As part of their activist activities, the group writes protest messages critical of the police in chalk on the sidewalks in front of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters and the state courthouse....

Filed - January 27, 2021

Updated - March 26, 2021

Harmon v. City of Arlington, et al.

Police Abuse
On September 1, 2018, a City of Arlington, Texas police officer pulled over O’Shae Terry for an expired registration tag. After approaching Terry’s side of the vehicle, the officer smelled marijuana, and went back to her patrol car, leaving Terry and his passenger, Terrence Harmon, with officer Bau Tran, who was standing next to the...

Filed - December 7, 2020

Updated - March 17, 2021

Washington v. Cannizzaro (Louisiana Fourth Circuit)

Prosecutorial Discretion
The MacArthur Justice Center is suing Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro in light of his office’s practice of gathering evidence using subpoenas that do not have the required advance approval of a court. The suit asks the Orleans Parish Civil District Court to order Cannizzaro to comply with a 2015 public records request for copies of district attorney...

Filed - May 12, 2017

Updated - February 26, 2021

Finnigan v. Mendrick

Health and Safety
Alongside the American Civil Liberties Union National Prison Project, the ACLU of Illinois, and the Legal Action Center, we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against the DuPage County Sheriff on behalf of Christine Finnigan to ensure she is provided with her prescribed medication for addiction treatment (also known as MAT) while...

Filed - January 20, 2021

Updated - February 24, 2021

Ashaheed v. Currington

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Tajuddin Ashaheed was forced by a corrections officer to shave his beard while in the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC), violating his First Amendment rights. Mr. Ashaheed is a practicing Muslim who observes the Sunnha practice of leaving his beard to grow. His beard is integral to his religious identity, and from...

Filed - October 23, 2020

Updated - February 22, 2021

McCoy v. Alamu

Advocating for the Rights of the Incarcerated
Prince McCoy is an asthmatic prisoner in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On December 28, 2016, while McCoy was languishing in solitary confinement, a correctional officer viciously attacked him with a can of pepper spray, a substance so dangerous that it is banned for use in war. Why did Officer Alamu...

Filed - July 10, 2020

Updated - February 19, 2021

David v. State of Missouri

Public Defense
Over 4,600 individuals, roughly 600 of whom are currently in pretrial detention, are waiting for an attorney in the State of Missouri. These individuals have been charged with crimes and qualify for a court-appointed attorney but are being forced to wait for an indeterminate amount of time for one to become available due to an...

Filed - February 27, 2020