In 2009, prison officials seized a book, The Black Panthers by Stephen Shames, mailed to San Quentin Death Row prisoner Javance Wilson.
Wilson filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the seizure violated his First Amendment rights. In a motion for summary judgment, the defendant prison officials argued that the Panthers were a disruptive group and that the book, which purportedly contains, “anti-government/law enforcement ideologies ... not conducive to a prison setting,” could be used as a recruiting tool by the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) prison gang.
In August 2011, the district court, noting that courts “must defer to prison authorities’ professional judgment” – in this case, that the BGF gang could use the book to indoctrinate new recruits – granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment.
In November 2012, the Ninth Circuit, noting that Wilson had failed to show that defendants’ actions were not reasonably related to a legitimate correctional goal, affirmed the district court’s ruling. See: Wilson v. Panizza, 498 Fed.Appx. 722 (9th Cir. 2012) (unpublished).
Additional source: San Francisco Chronicle
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Related legal case
Wilson v. Panizza
|Cite||498 Fed.Appx. 722 (9th Cir. 2012)|
|Level||Unpublished Court of Appeals|