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Texas Prisoner’s Defamation Suit Dismissed

Federal Prisoner’s Defamation Suit Dismissed

On June 17, 2011, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed a defamation suit filed by a federal prisoner against a Washington Post columnist.

James Carpenter, a federal prisoner, sued Colbert I. King, a Washington Post columnist, after the Post published several articles related to the death of Keith Barnes, an informant. Barnes was killed after he agreed to testify against Carpenter in a murder prosecution. Barnes was stabbed 106-times at the federal prison in Beaumont, Texas. Carpenter also complained that King had defamed him by characterizing him as some sort of terrorist.

In dismissing the suit, Judge Jackson held that Carpenter’s complaint was “not sufficient to raise a plausible claim that the defendant’s made false and defamatory--and non-privileged--statements concerning [him].” See: Carpenter v. King, No. 10-1069 (D. Colo. 2011).

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Related legal case

Carpenter v. King