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New York Prison Disciplinary Conviction Upheld

On June 9, 2011, New York’s Third Judicial Appellate Court affirmed a prisoner’s disciplinary conviction.

Scott Irwin received a misconduct report after a scuffle with a guard that resulted in the discovery of a shank. Irwin was sanctioned initially to 30 months of lockup. This sanction was later reduced.

Irwin argued that there was insufficient evidence to support the misconduct charge. The court rejected this contention out of hand. “The misbehavior report, the testimony of its author, the unusual incident report and the use of force provide substantial evidence to support the finding of guilt on all charges,” the court wrote.

The court indicated that it was troubled with the initial 30-month lockup sanction based on the documented “psychological effects of long term disciplinary lockdown.” However, since this sanction was later reduced, the court said the propriety of the penalty was no longer an issue. See: Matter of Irwin v. Fischer, 85 A.D.3d 1336, 925 N.Y.S.2d 256 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2011).

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Related legal case

Matter of Irwin v. Fischer