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Montana Paying for 1991 Prison Uprising

The state of Montana agreed to pay $60,000 to the parents of a prisoner killed during a 1991 uprising at the maximum security Deer Lodge prison. It was the second settlement among 13 state court cases filed against prison officials. In January 1995, the state agreed to pay $150,000 to the mother of another of the five prisoners killed during the disturbance. Eleven other state court cases are pending. Three dozen other lawsuits are pending in federal court.

The first of the dozens of federal cases was decided by U.S. district court judge Charles Lovell on April 14, 1997. Lovell ruled that eight prison officials acted illegally when they left five supposed "ringleaders" naked and hog-tied for up to 43 hours.

"This hog-tying episode clearly violated contemporary standards of decency," Lovell said in deciding the case without a trial. "Simply put, hog-tying the plaintiffs and leaving them naked in bare cells for hours at a time strongly evidences an intent to punish and inflict pain," he wrote.

[Editor's Note: We will update the federal ruling after we obtain the case cite and information regarding monetary damages and attorney fees.]

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