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Articles by David M. Reutter

Eleventh Circuit: Tasing of Inert Detainee is Excessive Force

by David M. Reutter

On May 9, 2019, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals answered in the affirmative whether it is “excessive force to tase for a second time a man who, as a result of an initial shock, is lying motionless on the floor and has wet himself, and ...

Appellate Court Holds Louisiana Prisoner’s Medical Malpractice Claim May Proceed

by David M. Reutter

Louisiana’s First Circuit Court of Appeal held on May 23, 2019 that a prisoner who filed grievances and a lawsuit concerning his medical treatment “exercised reasonable diligence to the best of his ability to determine if something was wrong with him.” Under the circumstances of the ...

HRDC Lawsuit Proceeds Over Care Provided to Florida Prisoner Who Starved to Death

by David M. Reutter

Florida federal district court has denied a motion to dismiss a civil rights action claiming that Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) officials and the FDOC’s former medical services contractor, Corizon Health, deprived a mentally ill prisoner of care he needed to prevent him from starving to ...

Louisiana Enters into Subscription Model Contract for HCV Treatment

by David M. Reutter

n June 2019, Louisiana officials entered into a contract that will allow prisoners and Medicaid patients to receive advanced medications to treat hepatitis C (HCV). The five-year contract with Asegua Therapies, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, aims to treat at least 31,000 of the state’s 39,000 ...

Virginia Death Row Conditions Subjected Prisoners to Risk of Harm

by David M. Reutter

On May 3, 2019, the Fourth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s order that found the conditions of confinement on Virginia’s death row violated the Eighth Amendment. The appellate court held the conditions that existed when the suit was filed created a “substantial risk” ...

Mississippi Prison Deaths Spike for Second Year; Disturbing Photos Revealed

by Matt Clarke & David M. Reutter

In July 2019, seven prisoners died in facilities operated by the Mississippi Department of Corrections (DOC). The deaths followed a similar spate in August 2018, when 16 deaths occurred at the DOC’s three state prisons. Media coverage of the most recent deaths was ...

Lawsuits Challenge Florida Law that Undermines Voting Rights Ballot Initiative

by David M. Reutter

Organizations that supported Amendment 4 – a 2018 ballot initiative to amend the Florida Constitution to restore voting rights to most people with felony convictions – have sued to block a new law that not only undermines the intent of the initiative but also “creates wealth-based ...

Third Circuit Affirms Refusal to Appoint Successive Counsel in Prisoner’s Civil Rights Case

by David M. Reutter

In a precedential ruling, on June 19, 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a district court did not abuse its discretion when it declined to appoint successive counsel in a prisoner’s civil rights action after initialcounsel withdrew from the case.

In 2010, Pennsylvania ...

Connecticut Prison Writing Program Leads to Lawsuits

by David M. Reutter

Wally Lamb was an English teacher when he published his first novel, She’s Come Undone, in 1992. It became a huge hit after Oprah Winfrey selected it for her book club. In 1999, Lamb began a writing workshop at a Connecticut women’s prison, the York Correctional ...

Third Circuit: Showers Part of Prison Operations for ADA and RA Purposes

by David M. Reutter

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held on August 8, 2019 that the provision of showers “is a part of the programs, activities, or services” referred to by the Rehabilitation Act (RA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The appellate court concluded that prison officials ...