The Rule of Law Oral History Collection, 2008-2012

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The Rule of Law Oral History Project began in September 2008 as a small oral history project that would investigate the state of human and civil rights in the post-9/11 United States. Working with the Center for Constitutional Rights, CCOH conducted 7 interviews with the lead counsel of the Supreme Court cases challenging the legal framework around the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center. CCOH also conducted 5 interviews with defense lawyers and advocates against the death penalty. Transcripts of more than 60 hours of recorded testimony are now available to the public through both the paper and digital archive. In the histories and narratives gathered by the Rule of Law Oral History Project, the intellectual and legal connection between these different arenas of work concerns the degradation of the right of habeas corpus and the fundamental lack of due process rights available to prisoners in United States jails and military prisons. Other major historical themes documented in our interviews include perspectives on the legal, political and social histories of civil and human rights; the personal experiences of individuals, families, and advocates in conflict with criminal or military justice system; and the legal, political and moral responses of individuals and movements that fight to preserve the rule of law in the contemporary United States. Funding for the interviews of the Rule of Law Oral History Project was generously provided by the Atlantic Philanthropies.