Free State Liberties - Summer 2024

June 7, 2024

Summer 2024 issue of Free State Liberties, the newsletter by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Maryland.


  • Maryland Parole Project
  • Election Protection
  • General Assembly Report
  • Staff Playlists

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(Newsletter Editor: Meredith Curtis Goode; Writer: Neydin Milián; Designer: Nicole McCann)

Summer 2024: Spotlights

Medical Parole

Public Policy

Bobby Stewart is a Black man with a beige hoodie, looking to the left, with a slight smile on his face. He is standing outside on a porch.

Waiting for Medical Parole Should Not Be a Death Sentence

No one ill enough to be eligible for medical parole should die of illness awaiting a release decision from the Governor. Yet, five people whom the Maryland Parole Board recommended for medical parole died while waiting for the Governor to act.

In 2021, the Maryland General Assembly passed important legislation to make the Maryland Parole Commission the final decider in parole, instead of the Governor. However, medical parole was mistakenly omitted from the bill.

This kind of parole is arguably the most important for the Commission to process thoroughly and act on expeditiously. A six-month waiting period from the Governor can be the difference between dying among family members and friends and dying alone in a prison cell.

Together with our partners, the ACLU of Maryland continues to work to pass this vital change.

Maryland Parole Partnership

Go to our website to watch Maryland Parole Project (MPP) Leader Bobby Stewart talk about “Medical Health & Elders Inside,” the first of our “Life After a Second Chance Series.” Stewart is pictured above with Senior Staff Attorney Sonia Kumar.

Learn about MPP

Election Protection

Voter Empowerment

Light green image with a stamp in the upper right corner. Image says, "Voter Empowerment" and the "o" in voter has is show as a "Vote 2020" button.

The ACLU of Maryland’s Election Protection campaign educates voters about their rights, advocates for equitable and accessible voting options, assists residents with questions and concerns, and addresses issues through investigations and legal advocacy.

General Assembly Report


ACLU of Maryland staff members hold a banner that says, "Care Not Cages." They are outside in Lawyer's Mall for a rally asking Governor Moore to veto HB 814.

In the 2024 Maryland General Assembly session, every action alert you signed, every phone call and email you sent to legislators, every meeting or rally you attended to demand better for all Marylanders, made a difference.

Thank you for raising your voice in support of stopping bad bills that would have violated our rights, like legislation to repeal the new law banning stops and searches based solely on the smell of marijuana, or to repeal the Child Interrogation Protection Act. Our priority bill the Second Look Act did not pass, but in its first year, it got much further than expected, with an ever-growing coalition of impacted families and community leaders. And shamefully, the legislature passed HB 814 to throw more 10- to 12-year-old Black children in jail, though we pushed hard for Governor Wes Moore to veto the bill.

The ACLU also supported partners to pass important bills, like the Access to Care Act to expand healthcare for immigrants in our state, and the Freedom to Read Act, which protects against book banning campaigns. And we supported our partner CAIR after an anti-free speech bill tried to remove them from the state’s Commission on Hate Crime Response and Prevention over the organization’s advocacy for Palestinian people.

Music for the People

Staff Playlists

Celebrating Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month spotify playlist.

Check out the playlists staff members from the ACLU of Maryland put together for heritage and celebratory months:

Each playlist is available on Spotify and YouTube.

What Can You Do?

Support the ACLU of Maryland

We Show Up. Background is a picture of a protest with person with a raised fist. There are seven photos of ACLU of Maryland staff members who speak in the video.

Can we count on you to defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights?