Showing 173 Results

Three young North Carolina black men once sentenced to die for the rape of a white woman were freed from prison in 1975 under a settlement negotiated by SPLC attorneys as their case went to trial a second time. They spent two years in the Edgecombe County jail in Tarboro, N.C., before gaining their freedom.

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

September 19, 2005

This is a lawsuit against four young white men who terrorized, humiliated and beat a mentally retarded African-American man, dumped his unconscious body on the side of a dark country road and left him for dead. In 2007, a jury awarded a $9 million verdict to help the family pay for the care the victim will need for the rest of his life.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

May 26, 1997

Inside Chess, Harper's, Astronomy, Writer's Digest — only a few of the hundreds of publications effectively banned in 1997 under an arbitrary policy implemented by the Alabama prison's warden. The Center sued, securing an agreement protecting inmates' rights to mailed reading materials.

Criminal Justice Reform

Date Filed

April 01, 2012

Prisoners at the Orleans Parish Prison in Louisiana endured rampant violence, multiple sexual assaults and neglect. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman, charging the sheriff’s indifference created the brutal and inhumane conditions at the jail. The SPLC reached an agreement with officials in December 2012 to address the brutal and inhumane conditions at the Orleans Parish Prison.

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

February 21, 2007

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Imperial Klans of America (IKA) and four Klansmen, saying several members were on a recruiting mission for the group in July 2006 when they savagely beat a teenage boy at a county fair in Kentucky. A jury found IKA leader Ron Edwards and two other members responsible for the attack and awarded $2.5 million to the teen. The SPLC moved to seize Edwards’ interest in the IKA headquarters to satisfy the judgment.

Criminal Justice Reform
Active Case

Date Filed

February 06, 2017

Louisiana officials denied poor people their constitutional right to counsel by failing to establish an effective statewide public defense system. The SPLC and its allies filed suit in state court fix the broken system.

In 2016, a funding crisis forced as many as 33 out of 42 public...

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

August 27, 1998

In 1988, a white fair housing advocate and her daughter were harassed and threatened over the internet by Klansmen and neo-Nazis. After they filed complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Center achieved justice against the hate groups.

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

October 15, 2008

A dozen Latino workers at a Tennessee cheese factory went weeks without pay and endured an abusive work environment before demanding paychecks from an employer, who then had them arrested, jailed and threatened with deportation. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit charging the company, its president and members of the local sheriff’s department with conspiring to violate the rights of the workers.

LGBT Rights

Date Filed

January 28, 2015

After Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore urged the state’s governor and judges to defy federal law and enforce Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a series of judicial ethics complaint against Moore that could result in the chief justice being removed...

Economic Justice

Date Filed

October 19, 2015

The SPLC filed a judicial ethics complaint against Perry County (Alabama) Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins after he required people unable to pay court fines to either donate blood or go to jail.

The complaint described how Wiggins threatened defendants in his court with jail on Sept. 17,...

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