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WA Civil Commitment Challenged
On March 28, 1994, a jury returned a mixed verdict in the above case. The jury agreed that one of the plaintiffs', Richard Turay, constitutional rights were violated by not being provided with adequate mental health treatment. Turay was awarded $100 in damages. Karen Jones, Turay's attorney said: "I think the jury verdict confirmed our view that this is a prison, not a mental health facility."
The jury ruled in favor of prison officials by holding that Turay's civil rights were not violated by policies that included opening the prisoners' mail and restricting their movements around the prison. The jury deadlocked on several other issues, such as whether restricting visiting hours and subjecting the prisoners to strip searches violates their constitutional rights. The parties were to decide whether to have a new jury trial on these issues or allow the judge to decide them.
Bob Boruchowitz, of the Washington Defender Association, informed the Seattle Times that he plans to file a federal habeas corpus petition on behalf of the civilly committed prisoners challenging the fact that they are confined after their terms of imprisonment have expired.
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Related legal case
Turay v. Seling
|Cite||USDC WD WA, Case #C94-121 WD|