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Civil rights Archives

Ohio's statutory system for compensating the wrongfully imprisoned, R.C. 2743.48

American justice is built on the promise that anyone accused of a crime has a right to a fair trial. But with disturbing frequency, our criminal-justice system falls short of that bar. Recent local examples can be found in the cases of Ricky Jackson, who spent 39 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, or of the East Cleveland 3, all sentenced to life in prison for a 1995 murder but released in 2015 after witness testimony and forensic testing were revealed to be unreliable.

City Club of Cleveland invites Corey Lewandowski to speak

The prestigious speaking forum the City Club of Cleveland has invited Corey Lewandowski to speak on August 3. While I believe that this invitation was unwise of the City Club because Lewandowski is a third-rate, racist, misogynist, characterless, unaccomplished, b-list provocateur unworthy of the City Club's podium, now that the decision is made, I would urge people to attend the forum to challenge Lewandowski with focused, pointed questions about his extremist, hate-mongering views.  Here is a partial compilation of examples of Lewandowski's misbehavior.

Ohio advisory committee to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issues report on human trafficking

Managing partner Subodh Chandra serves on the Ohio advisory committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Linked is the report of the advisory committee regarding "Human Trafficking and Civil Rights in Ohio." It represents the culmination of several years of work.

City of Lakewood and Lakewood Library sued after police officer attacks minor and breaks her jaw at Lakewood's Madison Branch library

Complaint alleges that Officer Kevin Jones attacked a child without provocation, and that responding officers failed provide first aid as the child bled on the Library steps.

Cleveland Scene sues Downtown Cleveland Alliance for removing 26 distribution boxes from downtown

Complaint alleges that DCA violated Cleveland Scene's constitutional rights to free speech and due process

Dispatcher's negligence leading to death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice results in "unacceptable" and "pathetic" 8-day suspension

Cleveland, OH - "Unacceptable." That is how Samaria Rice, the bereaved mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, described the mere eight-day suspension Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams gave Constance Hollinger, a police dispatcher, for Hollinger's negligence resulting in Tamir's death from a police shooting on November 22, 2014.

East Cleveland City School District education board to adopt numerous changes and reimburse $100,000 in fees incurred for board member's suit over extensive open-government violations

The settlement comes two weeks before the board was about to face trial

Kettering taxpayer demands city council declare that councilmember vacated his seat by serving as presidential elector

Robert L. Scott held dual public offices by serving as a presidential elector while holding a seat on City Council. The Kettering Charter mandates that Council declare his seat vacant.

Letter to Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams regarding his failure to terminate officers who killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice

The following is the opening text of an open letter just sent to Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams:

The Ohio Supreme Court overturns itself to allow wrongfully convicted defendants access to public records to challenge their convictions without having to rely on bureaucratic grace or mistake.

Yesterday, the Ohio Supreme Court overturned its own precedent and issued a significant ruling for Ohioans seeking to challenge their convictions, and for Ohio public-records law generally. In State ex rel. Caster v. City of Columbus, et al., Slip Op. No. 2016-Ohio-8394, the Court ruled that Ohio's public-records exception for "specific investigatory work product" ends when the trial of the underlying criminal case concludes. In other words, once a criminal trial is over, state and local law-enforcement agencies can no longer withhold documents related to that criminal case on the ground that the documents contain information that law-enforcement officials have assembled in connection with a probable or pending criminal proceeding. This means that wrongfully convicted criminal defendants will now have access to information that may be critical in exonerating them, before their time for post-conviction challenge has completely run out.

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