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Articles by Brandon Sample

BOP Dentist Convicted, Sentenced in Sex Assault Case

A federal judge has sentenced a former federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) dentist to five months imprisonment, five months home confinement and a $3,000 fine for having sex with a female prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Florida.

Godfrey Onugha was charged with criminal sexual abuse after ...

NACDL Wins Appeal for Eyewitness Identification Data

In 2006, when Illinois officials released results from a study comparing the effectiveness of traditional eyewitness identification with other methods, the results created an uproar.
The study, commissioned by the Illinois General Assembly, found the "traditional" line-up method of identification more reliable than sequential identification. With sequential identification, witnesses are ...

Gang Colors Restriction Held Unconstitutional

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has vacated a special condition of supervised release barring the "wearing of colors, insignia, or obtaining tattoos or burn marks (including branding and scars) relative to" criminal street gangs.

The court held that the condition was unconstitutionally vague.

While serving ...

Denial of Satanic Bible Results in $100 Settlement

Yellowstone County, Montana agreed to pay $100 to settle First Amendment and RLUIPA claims brought by a prisoner who was denied a Satanic Bible.

While incarcerated at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility, Jason Indreland, a practicing Satanist, requested that he be provided with a copy of the Satanic Bible. Under ...

Bid-Rigging, Sex, and Politicians: Welcome to Oklahoma

A $10 million-a-year contract awarded to the Ada Youth Academy Authority for a new juvenile facility has been put on hold while the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office looks into whether the contract was improperly steered to Ada by an Oklahoma senator.

In December 2010, The Oklahoman reported that Republican ...

Pre-Suit Notice Not Required by Texas Tort Claims Act

Serving a lawsuit within six months of an injury or loss satisfies the notice requirement of the Texas Tort Claims Act (TTCA), the Supreme Court of Texas held on October 1, 2010.

Glen Colquitt sued Brazoria County under the TTCA 55 days after falling and injuring himself while working as ...

Tenth Circuit Holds Due Process Requires Meaningful Segregation Reviews

Prisoners indefinitely confined to administrative segregation are entitled to meaningful, periodic reviews of their segregation status, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held on June 20, 2011, while granting qualified immunity to the prison official defendants. The appellate court issued an amended opinion in April 2012 ...

BOP’s RDAP Program Unevenly Administered and Unnecessarily Costly

by Brandon Sample and Derek Gilna

A comprehensive review of the federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), enacted by Congress in 1994, indicates that almost 20 years after its creation RDAP has yet to fulfill its full potential and is unnecessarily expensive.

The enactment of 18 ...

No “Strike” Under PLRA When Some Claims are Heard on the Merits

A prisoner does not incur a “strike” under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) unless his or her suit is dismissed entirely as frivolous, malicious or for failure to state a claim, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held on November 2, 2010. On remand, the ...

Second BOP Guard Convicted in Connection with Prisoner’s Murder

A second federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) guard who helped arrange an assault on a prisoner that resulted in the prisoner’s death has been convicted of federal civil rights violations.

On July 8, 2010, Michael Kennedy was found guilty of violating the civil rights of Richard Delano, a former ...