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Washington DOC Agrees to Settle Sex Offender Early Release Suit for $6,000

On June 17, 2006, the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to settle a 42 U.S.C. §1983 suit over the DOC’s Earned Early Release Date (EERD) program.

Dan Bedker, Jr., a sex offender, sued Joseph Lehman, the former Director of the DOC, after Bedker was denied early release past his EERD by three years.

Bedker alleged that he was denied early release based on a policy adapted by Lehman precluding early release for all sex offenders. This policy was unlawful, though, as several Washington courts had held that sex offenders were categorically ineligible for early release.

The lawsuit alleged that Lehman instituted his no early release policy because his own son was a sex offender and by denying early release to sex offenders, he was indirectly punishing his son.

The DOC agreed to settle the case for $6,000 following an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. See: Bedker v. Lehman, No. C05-5276 (RJB/JKA) (W.D. Wa 2006).

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Related legal case

Bedker v. Lehman