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Articles by Brandon Sample

Illinois Governor’s Failure to act on Clemency Petition Actionable

By Brandon Sample

Persons seeking executive clemency in Illinois have a protected liberty interest in having their petitions decided within a reasonable time by the governor, U.S. District Judge Joan B. Gottschal so held March 11, 2008.

Stephanie Bowens and various other individuals sought executive clemency under the Illinois Constitution, ...

Resentence Credit May Be Used to Reduce Period of Mandatory Parole, Colorado Supreme Court Decides

By Brandon Sample

Presentence confinement credit (PSCC) unapplied during incarceration may be used to reduce an offender’s period of mandatory parole, the Supreme Court of Colorado decided December 3, 2008.

Joseph Edwards was awarded 19 days of PSCC after being sentenced to ten years in prison for an aggravated robbery ...

Judge Orders Marshals to Transfer Prisoner Due to Inadequate Diet at Jail

By Brandon Sample

United States Magistrate Judge Todd Campbell has ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to transfer a pre-trial detainee from a county jail after determining the jail failed to provide a nutritionally adequate diet.

While being held at the Robertson County Jail on federal charges, Tellis Williams sent a ...

Summary Judgment Granted Against Cook County in Challenge to Strip Search Policy

By Brandon Sample

On July 30, 2008, U.S. District Judge Elaine E. Buchlo granted a motion for summary judgment filed by the plaintiffs in a class action suit challenging the Cook County Department of Corrections’ (CCDC) policy and/or practice of strip searching male prisoners returning from court that have been ...

Judge Rejects Challenge to BOP’s Special Administrative Measures

On January 27, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock dismissed a lawsuit challenging Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) imposed by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). SAMs are authorized under 28 C.F.R. § 501.3(a).

Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali, serving life plus 40 years for the 1998 bombing of the ...

Washington Prison Guards Sue Prisoners

Prisoners who attack Washington state prison guards can add one more potential consequence to their actions – garnishment of their commissary accounts.

The effort to garnish prisoners’ accounts is being spearheaded by the Washington Staff Assault Task Force (WSATF), a group of guards who hope to deter assaults by suing ...

Voting Rights Must Be “Earned” Back, Says Iowa Governor

Regaining voting rights for former felons in Iowa just got harder.

Making good on a campaign promise, the newly-elected governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, a Republican, has rescinded a July 4, 2005 executive order that allowed felons to vote after they completed their sentences.

Branstad signed a new executive order ...

Washington State Regulatory Agency Finds AT&T Failed to Disclose Prison Collect Call Rates

Washington State Regulatory Agency Finds AT&T Failed to Disclose Prison Collect Call Rates

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

On March 31, 2011, AT&T Communications of the Pacific Northwest was found guilty by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission of failing to disclose charges for collect calls from various ...

Illinois Prison Guards Scam Workers’ Comp

The chairman of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) has called for an investigation of workers’ comp claims filed by guards at the maximum-security Menard Correctional Center.

Since January 2008, over 500 workers’ compensation claims have been filed by Menard guards. Most of the claims seek compensation for so-called “repetitive ...

“Three Strikes” Provision Of PLRA Applies To Suits Filed While Incarcerated Even If Subsequently Released

By Brandon Sample

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which prohibits a prisoner from proceeding in forma pauperis (IFP) in a federal lawsuit if the prisoner has had three or more suits or appeals dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a claim, applies upon release to suits ...