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Jury Award $700,000 to Maryland Prisoner Assaulted by Guards

After hearing evidence, a jury awarded Younger $700,000 on February 3, 2020.

On September 29, 2013, Younger witnessed a fight between two prisoners and a guard in which the guard was seriously hurt. Although Younger was simply a witness, he was moved to another housing unit. According to Court records, between 6:40 and 7 a.m. Ramsey, Green, and Hanna entered 51-year-old Younger’s cell and threw him from the top bunk to the concrete floor. Once on the floor, the three beat Younger on his head, face, and body with handcuffs, radios and metal keys. They also slammed his head against the toilet bowl, all while verbally berating him.

When the guards left the cell, Younger was left bloody, with serious, and permanent injuries.

Four other prisoners were beaten in the same manner by the goon squad in relation for the same incident.

Realizing that Younger needed medical attention, Green put him in a wheelchair, taking him to the medical unit. Once there, Green ordered his victim to sign an incident report indicating his injuries were sustained from falling from his bunk.

Court records show then-Warden Tyrone Crowder admonished the guards by calling them soft, and stating that the cops “should had beat the inmates” worse than they had.

Crowder later learned that Younger in fact was not involved in assaulting the guard, but rather he attempted to assist the officer. This was confirmed by Crowder through MRDCC leadership. Despite that, Younger was charged administratively with assault. As a result of those charges, he was sentenced to 120 days segregation.

Younger filed a federal lawsuit in relation to the attack on his person. The case proceeded to trial in which former guards gave chilling testimony about a culture of violent retaliation inside of the prison. Former prison guard Hanna testified at the civil trial that he was in fact part of the “goon squad,” which solved problems with violence against prisoners. He testified that he along with other officers had an unwritten code that an “eye for an eye,” was their approach. Part of that approach was viciously beating Younger. Evidence at trial seemed to indicate that guards mistakenly beat Younger for assaulting their fellow prison guard when he had no part in the assault, but rather tried to help.

Allen Honick, Younger’s attorney, said, “The [Office of the Attorney General] tried defending the indefensible,” adding “Hopefully Mr. Younger can now move on with his life and put this awful chapter behind him.”

All three guards were charged criminally for the attack.

Hanna entered a plea of guilty to a conspiracy charge and testified against Green and Ramsey. A jury acquitted them of most of the charges but did convict on a second-degree assault charge and misconduct in office. For the savage beating of Younger they received suspended sentences and were placed on probation — much less punishment than the 120 days solitary and grotesque beating that Younger received for a crime he did not commit. See: Younger v. Green, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201375. 

 

Related legal case

Younger v. Green