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Articles by David Reutter

Maryland County Wins Fight to Let Bureaucrats Make Pretrial Release Decisions

by David M. Reutter

 

There’s something rotten with bail decisions in Prince George’s County, but as of March 29, 2024, the federal court for the District of Maryland isn’t going to do anything about it. That was the date it granted Defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings and ...

Eighth Circuit Largely Restores Qualified Immunity to Minnesota Jail Guards in Use of Force on Bipolar Prisoner

by David M. Reutter

 

On December 26, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit largely reversed a lower court and restored qualified immunity (QI) to guards at Minnesota’s Washington County Jail (WCJ) in a prisoner’s claim that they either used excessive force against him or failed ...

$2 Million Settlement in Death of Mentally Disabled Detainee Stripped of Anti-Seizure Device at Colorado Jail

by David M. Reutter

 

On May 1, 2023, following an order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that reversed a grant of summary judgment to a guard at Colorado’s Mesa County Detention Facility (MCDF), a $2 million settlement was reached in a suit filed by ...

$56.7 Million Awarded to “Harlem Park Three,” Exonerated of Baltimore Murder After 36 Years in Prison

by David M. Reutter

 

On September 29, 2023, Maryland’s Baltimore Board of Estimates approved a $48 million settlement for former state prisoners Alfred Chestnut, Andrew Stewart, Jr. and Ransom Watkins, all 56, who were released from prison on November 25, 2019, after serving 36 years for a murder they ...

Sixth Circuit Revives Ohio Prisoner’s Retaliation Claim That Guards Got Him Kicked Out of Religious Group

by David M. Reutter

 

On December 13, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed dismissal of an Equal Protection Clause claim by Ohio prisoner Lyle Heyward that officials frustrated his attempts to celebrate Ramadan. However, dismissal was affirmed for companion claims that they also violated ...

$4 Million Settlement in Class Action Challenging Unconstitutional Conditions at West Virginia Jail

by David M. Reutter

 

West Virginia Division of Corrections (WVDC) officials agreed to pay $4 million on November 8, 2023, to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging unconstitutional conditions at the Southern Regional Jail (SRJ) in Raleigh County. The settlement provided for a cash payment to current and former detainee ...

Two Prisoners Removed from Texas Death Row Due to Intellectual Disability

by David M. Reutter

 

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals resentenced death row prisoner Tomas Raul Gallo, 49, to life imprisonment on April 5, 2024, approving an agreement by prosecutors that Gallo’s intellectual disability (ID) prohibits his execution. The agreement further acknowledges that Gallo’s death sentence violated his due ...

Louisiana Fights Federal Court Order to Remedy “Callous and Wanton Disregard” for Angola Prisoners’ Healthcare

by David M. Reutter

 

On November 6, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana issued a Remedial Order (RO) to correct unconstitutional healthcare at Louisiana State Prison in Angola. In a companion opinion, the Court found the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections (DPSC) ...

“Are You Freaking Kidding Me?” Former BOP Warden Accuses Guards of Recruiting Prisoners for Assaults at Troubled Lockup in Illinois

by David M. Reutter

 

Before he retired in July 2023, Warden Thomas Bergami was sent by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to the U.S. Penitentiary (USP) in Thomson, Illinois, with a mandate: Clean the place up. But Begami said he got little support for his reform efforts and was ...

$20.5 Million Settlement for Two Kentucky Prisoners Exonerated and Freed After 22 Years

by David M. Reutter

 

On September 7, 2023, the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government in Kentucky agreed to pay $20.5 million to settle a civil rights action alleging constitutional violations in the wrongful murder convictions and imprisonment of Jeffrey Dwayne Clark and Garr Keith Hardin.

Both now 54, they were ...