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Articles by Brandon Sample

Eighth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity for Guards Accused of Deliberate Indifference; $5.2 Million Verdict, $450,000 Settlement on Remand

On August 20, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court’s denial of qualified immunity to six Garland County Adult Detention Center (GCADC) staff accused of deliberate indifference.

On February 13, 2007, when Steven Ross McFarland, an Iraqi war veteran, was arrested and taken ...

Summary Judgment for Massachusetts DOC Medical Provider Reversed

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts has reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of a Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) contract medical provider, subcontractor and contract staff alleged to have provided inadequate dental care.

John Sullivan, a prisoner at the DOC’s MCI-Norfolk facility, sued Correctional Medical Services, Inc. (CMS), ...

Judge Declines to Terminate Orders Requiring Air-conditioned Housing for Heat-sensitive Prisoners

New York U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer, Jr. has declined to terminate a series of orders requiring New York City jail officials to house “heat-sensitive” prisoners in air-conditioned cells when temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Since 1978, New York City jails have operated under a consent decree ...

Raid of Wrong House Results in $300,000 Judgment Against United States

By Brandon Sample

A federal judge has awarded $300,000 to a woman whose house was wrongfully raided by agents from the ATF.

On February 25, 2004, agents from the ATF executed a search warrant at Lillian Carter’s home looking for a Kinte Carter. Kinte Carter did not live there, though. ...

No Sovereign immunity for City or Police Officer in Vehicle Collision with Pedestrian

Brandon Sample

The Ohio Court of Appeals for the Ninth District has affirmed a lower court’s denial of summary judgment for the City of Cuyahoga Falls and one of its police officers.

Timothy Brown was struck by Officer Brandon Good’s cruiser on December 30, 2006, while Good was responding to ...

PLRA Does Not Preempt State Exhaustion Statutes

By: Brandon Sample

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) exhaustion of administrative remedies requirements do not preempt Tennessee’s more generous exhaustion statute, The Court of Appeals of Tennessee decided February 11, 2002.

PLRA requires prisoners to properly exhaust their administrative remedies. Failure to exhaust results in dismissal of the prisoner’s ...

Felon Disenfranchisement Statute Does Not Violate Voting Rights Act

The good news for Washington state prisoners wanting to restore their voting rights? The state’s felon disenfranchisement statute violates the Voting Rights Act (VRA), a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held on January 5, 2010. The bad news? Washington state’s felon disenfranchisement statute does ...

Trivialized Use of Presidential Pardon Power Continues Under Obama

After almost two years in office, President Obama finally granted his first pardons on December 3, 2010 – all nine of them – barely avoiding George W. Bush’s record for the longest delay by a president in granting clemency.

Each of the nine pardons were for very old, minor offenses, ...

Jury Awards $336,000 to Prisoner Hurt during Van Accident

By Brandon Sample

On June 29, 2007, a South Carolina jury awarded $336,000 to a prisoner who was seriously injured during a rollover accident that resulted in severe, permanent injury.

On November 10, 2003, Cheryl Boles was being transported by the South Carolina Department of Corrections (DOC) from Columbia to ...

Prisoners Who Fear for Their Safety Must Give Details to Prison Officials, Seventh Circuit Decides

By Brandon Sample

Prisoners who feel that their safety is in danger must do more than make generalized assertions of potential harm, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided November 21, 2008, in affirming summary judgment for prison officials accused of failing to protect a prison snitch ...