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Articles by Derek Gilna

Iowa Supreme Court Refuses Miranda Protection for Confession to Case Worker

By Derek Gilna

The Iowa Supreme Court has affirmed a lower-court decision denying defendant Jess John Pearson's Motion to Suppress, based upon the Miranda case for a voluntary confession given to his social worker, who interviewed him after he had committed a crime. In so ruling, the court noted ...

Florida Court Permits Female Prisoner's Lawsuit for Forced Sex with Guard to Go Forward

By Derek Gilna

A Florida District Court has permitted parts of a lawsuit by a female prisoner for being forced into sex by a male prison guard to go forward, finding that questions of fact precluded whether he was negligently supervised and retained by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP ...

9th Circuit Rejects Prisoner Self-Defense Theory in Assault with Shank

By Derek Gilna

The U.S. Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit has declined to permit prisoner Lenny Urena from asserting "self-defense" in his trial for assault with a dangerous weapon against a fellow prisoner. The Court also rejected Urena's claim that the District Court violated his Confrontation Clause ...

Former Ohio Sheriff Sentenced to One Year of House Arrest for Theft and Ethics Violations

By Derek Gilna

Gerald T. McFaul was Sheriff of Cuyahoga County, Ohio for decades, but the 76-year old Democrat was contrite as he apologized to the people of Cuyahoga County for theft and ethics violations. He could have been sentenced for up to ten years in jail, but Judge Inderlied ...

Appeals Court Reverses Summary Judgment in Malicious Prosecution and Evidence Concealment Case against Boston Police Department

By Derek Gilna

In a well-reasoned opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has permitted a Section 1983 action against the Boston Police Department (BPD) to continue. James Haley had accused the BPD of concealing exculpatory evidence that resulted in him serving over thirty years for ...

Fourth Circuit Reverses Injunction Relating to Publication of Social Security Number on Virginia Land-Transfer Records

By Derek Gilna

The appeal arose from a First Amendment challenge to Virginia's Personal Information Privacy Act, Va. Code Sec. 59.1-442 to 444, part of which prohibits “[i]ntentionally communicat[ing] another individual's social security number to the general public.” The district court ruled that this was ...

Human Rights Watch Report Faults ICE for Improper Treatment of Mentally Disabled Aliens

By Derek Gilna

A 2010 study by Human Rights Watch highlights abuses suffered by mentally disabled aliens, both legal and illegal. According to Human Rights Watch, "Every year, several hundred thousand people in the United States are arrested for possible deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The vast majority ...

Michigan Supreme Court Reverses Its Own Decision Allocating Greater Funding for State’s Public Defender Offices

By Derek Gilna

In an unusual decision, criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Michigan Supreme Court on July 17 reversed itself and threw out a lawsuit that would have required the State of Michigan to provide more funds for poor people accused of crimes to hire attorneys. "We ...

Seattle Federal Halfway House Case Manager’s Reentry Plan for Prisoner Allegedly Included Sex, Heroin

A former case manager at Pioneer Fellowship House, a halfway house in Seattle, Washington, has been accused of having a sexual relationship with one of the released prisoners she supervised and providing him with money to buy heroin.

According to records filed in federal court by Special Agent Wayne Hawney ...

Federal Bureau of Prisons Says DNA Backlog No Longer Exists

In July 2011, the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) announced that it had eliminated a backlog of over 90,000 DNA samples from federal prisoners. This milestone occurred more than a decade after Congress passed the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act in 2000.

Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan, who had drawn ...