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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Derek Gilna

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 ...

New Jersey Comptroller Criticizes, Questions Halfway House Contracts

In a June 15, 2011 letter and separate audit report, the New Jersey State Comptroller’s office sharply criticized a number of issues related to the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) contracts with private halfway houses. Singled out for special attention was Education and Health Centers of America, Inc. (EHCA), a ...

Most Second Chance Act Money Goes to Government Agencies

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

When the Second Chance Act (SCA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2008, the legislation was intended to fund programs to help former prisoners find jobs, reintegrate into society and stay out of jail. Years later, however, it appears that ...

Mississippi Supreme Court Denies Equity Court Review of Death Penalty Cases

By Derek Gilna

The complaint of sixteen death-row inmates in Mississippi which sought Chancery Court review of the adequacy of their legal representation has been denied by the Mississippi Supreme Court for lack of jurisdiction based upon the Uniform Post-Conviction Collateral Relief Act (UPCCRA).

The prisoner claims revolved around the ...

Ninth Circuit agrees with Defendant and Reverses Contempt Conviction

By Derek Gilna

Although agreeing with the government that the defendant, James Kimsey was "no saint," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Kimsey that he could not be held in contempt for failure to obey a "rule" prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law that "cannot serve as a ...

Federal Investigation, Prosecution Targets Indiana Sheriff’s Officers

Several Lake County, Indiana Sheriff’s Department employees were the subject of a federal investigation into a gun-running scheme that resulted in criminal charges.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich placed six staff members on administrative leave and stripped them of their law enforcement powers in May 2011 after they were ...

Tenth Circuit Voids Albuquerque’s Attempt to Ban Sex Offenders from Libraries

In a case of first impression, on January 20, 2012 the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s judgment invalidating an ordinance of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico that prohibited registered sex offenders from entering the City’s public libraries.

The district court had granted summary ...


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