Human Rights Clinic

The Human Rights Clinic brings together an interdisciplinary group of law and graduate students in a course that incorporates both classroom study and hands-on participation in human rights projects and cases.

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Cases and Projects

Human rights abuses and state complicity in Coahuila, Mexico

The Human Rights Clinic has compiled a report based on analyzed witness testimonies from three U.S. federal trials. Between 2013 and 2016, Zeta members were put on trial in Austin, San Antonio, and Del Rio for crimes of homicide, conspiracy to import drugs and weapons, and money laundering. The report, titled “‘Control…Over the Entire State of Coahuila’: An analysis of testimonies in trials against Zeta members in San Antonio, Austin, and Del Rio, Texas,” details the nexus between organized crime and Coahuila state officials and institutions and the human rights violations –including disappearances—that this relationship enabled.

Human rights abuses in the context of the imposition of the death penalty in Texas

The Clinic researched the capital punishment system in Texas, publishing a report detailing the chronic overuse of solitary confinement on Texas’ death rows by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDJC). The report, titled “Designed to Break You: Human Rights Violations on Texas’ Death Rows,” details how TDCJ’s practice of holding prisoners in mandatory solitary confinement from 22 to 24 hours a day, often for decades on end, violates the Constitutional rights of those prisoners and contravenes well-established international standards of human rights.

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