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Articles by Christopher Zoukis

Unlawful Raid by Indiana State Excise Police Results in Settlement

by Christopher Zoukis

Two enforcement officers of the Indiana State Excise Police, the law enforcement arm of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, agreed to a settlement of an undisclosed amount for numerous civil rights violations related to their unwarranted raid of a party at a private residence.

     On ...

Florida Man Arrested After He Flipped Off Pittsburgh Cop; Settles First Amendment Claim for $50,000

by Christopher Zoukis

David Hackbart, a Tampa, Florida, resident, agreed to a $50,000 settlement with the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a Pittsburgh police officer, after being cited for disorderly conduct when he accidentally gave the middle finger to the officer.

     On April 10, 2006, Hackbart was attempting to ...

Racially Motivated Traffic Stop and Arrest by Texas Police Leads to Settlement

by Christopher Zoukis

    After police in Brownsville, Texas, arrested a man for drunk driving and running a red light when tests showed that he was not intoxicated, the man sued for racially motivated treatment. A settlement was reached between the parties for an undisclosed amount prior to trial. ...

Nebraska Sheriffs Profiting from Jail Phone Contracts

by Christopher Zoukis

The ACLU of Nebraska issued a report on November 30, 2017 detailing the cost of telephone calls made from county jails in the state, concluding that phone rates remain “unconscionably” expensive. Profits for some sheriffs are so high that the ACLU compared the practice to “for-profit debtors’ ...

Ohio: $75,000 Settlement Reached after 60-Year-Old Woman Body Slammed by Jail Guard

by Christopher Zoukis

A federal lawsuit filed by an elderly woman who suffered injuries after being slammed to the floor by a jail guard has ended in a settlement, and the guard disciplined.

Marsha Pate-Strickland was detained in Ohio’s Montgomery County jail on September 8, 2015 when she was involved ...

Newspaper Investigation Reveals Significant Problem with Life Sentences in Arizona

by Christopher Zoukis

An investigation by the Arizona Republic has exposed a serious problem with life sentences imposed by state courts throughout Arizona since 1994. In the 22 years between January 1994 and January 2016, 248 out of 490 life sentences imposed included the possibility of parole after 25 years ...

Justice Department Failing to Assess Prison Population Reduction, Clemency and Reentry Programs

by Christopher Zoukis

In a statement made to members of Congress on December 13, 2017, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported on the failure of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to properly implement recommendations intended to measure the success of incarceration reduction and reentry initiatives. The programs, recommended by ...

Confusion Over Insanity Defense Leads One Jury to Issue Two Verdicts in Triple Murder

by Christopher Zoukis

A jury’s decision that a defendant on trial for murder was mentally ill but should go to prison led a judge to initially withhold judgment in the case.

Dan Popp, 41, was tried in November 2017 for the murders of Phia Vue, Mai K. Vue and Jesus ...

Hearing Impaired Man Beaten by Oregon Police While in Custody Awarded $500

by Christopher Zoukis

Michael Evans, a hearing impaired man who was kicked and punched by several officers at the Multnomah County Detention Center in Oregon, was awarded a meager $500 by a federal jury.

     On September 11, 2006, Evans was booked into the detention center. As a result of ...

Arrest of War Protesters in Seattle Leads to Civil Rights Settlement

by Christopher Zoukis

     Three attendees of a 2006 march against the war in Iraq held in Seattle, Washington, agreed to settle a lawsuit in which they claimed their arrests violated their civil rights.

     On October 5, 2006, Brendan Dunn, Jacob Erwin and Ryan Tompkins decided at the last ...