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Articles by Derek Gilna

Global Tel*Link Hit with Sanctions For Discovery Violations in Georgia Prison Call Class Action

Pennsylvania Correctional Emergency Response Teams Face New Scrutiny in “Noose” Controversy

After guards searched their dorm room, Tyson and his roommates noticed something resembling a ...

Federal Court Again Orders California DOC to Remedy Continuing ADA Violations

North Carolina Cancer Patient Dies From COVID-19 After BOP Denies Compassionate Release and Sentencing Judge Rejects Appeal

Salt Lake County, Utah, Settles Federal Civil Rights Wrongful Death Claim for $950,000

The settlement concluded a federal civil rights lawsuit, which had alleged that, ...

Federal Class Action Settlement Aims to Eliminate Horrific Conditions at Santa Barbara, California Jails in Three Years

$6 Million Payout in Montana Wrongful Conviction Case

Plaintiffs Paul Jenkins, Kenneth Jenkins and Crystal Combs alleged in the complaint that misconduct carried out by authorities in Ravalli, Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark counties resulted in “extensive injuries suffered by Mr. Jenkins and his children as a direct result of his wrongful conviction on 1994 charges of homicide, aggravated kidnapping and robbery in the murder of Donna Meagher.

The plaintiffs’ complaint accused defendants of violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, including, “Claim for Deprivation of Liberty Without Due Process of Law, Deprivation of Right to Fair Trial, Deprivation of Right to be Free From Reckless Investigation, Deprivation of Right to be Free From Use of Fabricated Evidence and Deprivation of Right to be Free From Law Enforcement Conduct Constituting Deliberate Indifference or Reckless Disregard for the Truth Under the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Deputies and investigators in those counties engaged in a fruitless investigation of the murder, before ...

Administrator of “Whitey” Bulger’s Estate Sues BOP Over His Murder

When the 89-year old, wheelchair-bound Bulger was murdered in federal prison in Hazelton, West Virginia, in 2018, it was a sadly predictable end to a life spent both dueling with law enforcement and also profiting from his association with its dark underbelly in Boston.

 Bulger, the acknowledged head of the feared Winter Hill Gang in South Boston in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, sparred with the rival Patirarca crime family for control of the rackets in that city, and was rumored to have cooperated with members of the FBI to undercut those rivals. His two alleged prison assailants had ties to the Patirarca organization, also referred to as the Italian Mafia.

The lawsuit was filed, “pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S. Ct. 1999, 29 L. Ed. 2d 619 (1971), against ...

Federal Judge Approves $25 Million Class Action Settlement Against Global Tel*Link

Under the terms of the settlement, individuals incarcerated in New Jersey prison and jails between 2006 and 2016 who used the GTL phone system, as well as individuals who received telephone calls through the company from New Jersey prisoners before June 2010 or in Essex County, N.J., before June 2011, would be able to file claims.

GTL also had been heavily criticized for requiring people receiving calls from a prisoner to make deposits into a company account and then keeping those deposits if the accounts became “inactive,” generally after the prisoner had been released. Plaintiffs had alleged in their initial complaint that, “Defendants fail(ed) to inform their customers that they will be charged a service or set-up fee ...

Fifth Circuit Order Denies Texas Prisoners Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning Supplies

According to the appeals court, “our conscribed role is not to assess whether prison officials could have done more to contain the virus—no doubt they could have. Nor is it to micromanage prison operations—that is left to the governor-appointed Board of Criminal Justice and to the Texas Legislature.” The court did note that 500 prisoners had been infected, and 20 had died. A certified class of affected prisoners had alleged  “violations of the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.”

The appellate court set aside a September 29, 2020 order by federal district court judge Keith Ellison, who wrote, “The Court acknowledges that (officials) have taken a number of steps to address the spread ...