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Articles by Derek Gilna

Vietnam Pardons 10,244 Prisoners but Few Dissidents

Two Vietnamese activists jailed for advocating democracy were among more than 10,000 prisoners granted amnesty by Vietnam’s government on August 25, 2011 in celebration of National Day. Nguyen Van Tinh and Tran Duc Thach had been sentenced in 2009 to three-and-a-half and three years in jail, respectively – Tinh ...

Former Delaware Prisoner Settles Sexual Assault Suit for $287,500 and Policy Changes

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

Former Delaware state prisoner Michelle Bloothoofd has settled a federal lawsuit filed against the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC), the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution (BWCI), Warden Patrick Ryan, guard Anthony Antonio and other prison officials, after she was sexually assaulted by Antonio on ...

Bureau of Prisons Houses More “Terrorists” than Guantanamo

According to the New York Times, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) confines more than twice as many prisoners for “terrorism-related” offenses than the controversial and oft-maligned U.S. military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“As of October 1, 2011, the ... [BOP] reported that it was holding 362 people ...

CIA Slammed for Torture Abuses at Secret Lithuanian Prisons

Despite a lawsuit filed in the European Court of Human Rights by Saudi-born alleged terrorist Abu Zubaydah, Lithuanian prosecutors have declined to pursue charges related to two CIA-operated prisons located in that country. Human rights groups Amnesty International and Reprieve have claimed, according to the Associated Press, that Zubaydah was ...

Arrests of Federal Prison Guards Soar 90% Over Past Decade; Misconduct Cases Double

According to a September 2011 report by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), arrests of federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) guards increased almost 90% over the previous ten years, while staffing in the BOP grew only 24% over the same period of time. From ...

Federal Sex Offender Civil Commitment Process Under Fire

Among other provisions, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 allows the federal government to indefinitely detain “sexually dangerous” offenders through a civil commitment process, which requires mandatory court hearings after such offenders have been certified by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as eligible for ...

U.S. Supreme Court Holds AG Rules Required Before SORNA Sex Offender Law is Applied Retroactively

On January 23, 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Stephen Breyer, reversed the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which had held that the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (Act) applied retroactively even in the absence of a rule by the U ...

Tenth Circuit Holds Sex Offenders Who Leave U.S. Must Still Register

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held on December 23, 2011 that a Utah sex offender must register in his home state even if he intends to permanently leave the U.S. to live in another country. Kevin Daniel Murphy, convicted of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated sexual abuse of ...

“Fusion Centers” Gather Intelligence on U.S. Citizens

Homeland Security-financed agencies called “fusion centers,” ostensibly formed to collect information to prevent 9/11-type terrorist attacks, have expanded their scope of operations to include ordinary street-level crime. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently expressed concerns about a fusion center in Cleveland, Ohio, claiming the center’s secrecy and ...

United States District Court in New York Sides with Prisoners in § 1983 Action against Former New York Governor George Pataki and Others

United States District Court in New York Sides with Prisoners in § 1983 Action against Former New York Governor George Pataki and Others

By Derek Gilna

In a July 6, 2010 decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York the Court rejected a motion for ...