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Articles by Brandon Sample

Washington Prisoners Have No Right to Inspect Records Under Public Records Act

Prisoners who request records from the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) under the Public Records Act (PRA) do not have a right to inspect records without cost, the Court of Appeals, Division II held in a corrected ruling entered on March 4, 2011. The appellate court’s opinion joins a ...

Civil Commitment Must be Challenged through Commitment Proceedings Instead of Habeas Corpus

A federal prisoner challenging his or her civil commitment detention under the Adam Walsh Act (Act) as a “sexually dangerous person” may not resort to habeas corpus for such challenges, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held on December 6, 2010. Following remand and another appeal ...

Challenge to BOP’s Ban on Sexually Explicit Publications Dismissed

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit dismissed an appeal challenging the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) implementation of the Ensign Amendment, a law that prohibits the expenditure of federal funds “to distribute or make available to a prisoner any commercially published information or material that is sexually ...

No Qualified Immunity for Guard Who Failed to Protect Prisoner from Sexual Abuse

On February 1, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s denial of qualified immunity to a guard accused of failing to protect a vulnerable prisoner from sexual assault, but reversed as to the denial of qualified immunity to three other guards ...

South Carolina Crime Stoppers Snitch Line Scammed

Most people are familiar with Crime Stoppers, the “snitch line” for individuals with information about crimes. Successful tips can result in benefits to the tipster – which can take the form of cash, leniency with a new case or a time cut if the tipster is already in prison. Not surprisingly ...

PLRA Limits Attorney Fee Award to $7,500; Prisoner Required to Pay Part of Fees

On December 17, 2007, U.S. District Court Judge James K. Singleton, Jr. awarded $7,500 in attorney fees following a jury verdict that found New York prison officials had violated the First Amendment in denying a prisoner his religious meals. The fee award was substantially lower than what was ...

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Edwards Rule

In Edwards v. Arizona, 451 U.S. 477 (1981), the Supreme Court held that statements made to police during an interrogation following a request for counsel are presumed invalid. The so-called Edwards rule was designed to protect the safeguards afforded by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) against ...

$115,000 Settlement in BOP Excessive Use of Restraints Suit

The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has agreed to pay $115,000 to resolve an excessive force lawsuit against five BOP employees.

While incarcerated at the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Lee, Virginia, Michael Montgomery was placed in four-point restraints and ambulatory restraints for a combined total of over 39 ...

BOP Settles Prisoner Rape Suit for $625,000

The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has agreed to pay $625,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a prisoner who was raped by a guard at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York.

In the early hours of November 25, 2001, Karleen Toni Remice was forced to ...

DOJ Finds No Wrongdoing After Prisoner Dies Due to Grossly Inadequate Medical Care

Prison officials at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin, Illinois, a medium-security facility, were the subject of an FBI investigation related to a prisoner who died in agony after being denied medical care.

Adam Montoya, 36, was not at FCI Pekin long – a mere 18 days – before his spleen ruptured ...