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Articles by Derek Gilna

Department of Justice Expands Definition of Rape to "Ensure Justice"

Department of Justice Expands Definition of Rape to "Ensure Justice"

by Derek Gilna

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has broadened the definition of rape, first established in 1927, to include "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration ...

Federal Court Limits New York’s Civil Commitment Statute, but Injunction Vacated on Appeal

A decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York severely restricted portions of New York’s Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act (SOMTA). A lawsuit filed by Mental Hygiene Legal Service (MHLS) had sought an injunction against enforcement of various provisions of the Act, which provides ...

Virginia's FOIA Ruled to Not Violate Some Constitutional Guarantees

In a case brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), Section 2.2-3700 et seq. (2011), "does not violate the Appellants' rights under the Privileges and Immunities Clause (U.S. Const. art. IV, Section 2, ...

Supermax Prisoner Denied FOIA and Privacy Requests by 10th Circuit

Mark Jordan, a prisoner at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX), in Florence, Colorado, has been denied relief under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. Section 552, and the Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. Section 552a, after seeking information from both the United States Department of ...

Former Kansas Prisoner Civil Rights Suit Dismissed by 10th Circuit

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a district court decision dismissing the 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 case alleging violations of the Kansas Constitution, the Kansas Tort Claims Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Religious land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Mr. Jerry Wayne Smith ...

Massachusetts Court Releases Mental Health Detainee After State Blows Deadline

The Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk, Massachusetts dismissed the case of David Gangi, confined pursuant to G.L. c 123A, Section 13(a) to determine whether or not "probable cause exists to believe that the person named in the petition is a sexually dangerous person." The statute requires that ...

DC District Court Denies Motion to Compel Production Request on Fees

On December 18, 2007 the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has refused a request by the District of Columbia and others, in a consolidated civil action brought before it, to compel production of “all documents in Plaintiffs’ possession, custody or control, or to which Plaintiffs’ attorney ...

10th Circuit Orders District Court to Reconsider Restrictive Sentencing Conditions

Eugene Sunday argued that computer and mental health conditions of the supervised release portion of his sentence constituted an occupational restriction unsupported by the Guidelines Manual of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, (USSG), Section 5F1.5. The district court had imposed the following special conditions of supervised release: "(1) The defendant shall ...

9th Circuit Denies Double-Jeopardy Based Dismissal of Arizona Drug Case

In a case featuring especially egregious prosecutorial misconduct by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Albert in prosecution of Defendant-Appellant Aurora Lopez-Avila, the 9th Circuit has refused defense efforts to dismiss the indictment on double-jeopardy grounds. The defense had consented to a mistrial in the original proceeding where Albert was found to ...

1st Circuit Affirms Federal Tort Claims Judgment Against FBI in Bulger Cases

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit has affirmed the judgments entered against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, (FBI), under the Federal Tort Claims Act, (FTCA). In the most recent chapter of the various civil claims against the FBI stemming from murders committed by Boston mobster and FBI ...