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Articles by Derek Gilna

$60 Million in Strip Search Settlements for Cook County Jail Prisoners

Two separate settlements totaling almost $60 million were approved between November 2010 and January 2011 for Cook County, Illinois jail prisoners who were strip searched before being released. Both settlements stemmed from federal court cases filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, one in 2004 and the other in 2006 ...

Illinois Federal Court Denies Prisoner Release Order at Cook County Jail

In a per curium decision, on January 11, 2011 a three-judge panel of federal judges of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied a request by the Sheriff of Cook County for entry of a prisoner release order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3626 ...

Treasury Department Finds Prisoners’ Fraudulent Tax Returns Taxing

Despite passage of the Inmate Tax Fraud Prevention Act of 2008, the Internal Revenue Service has been unable to curb alleged income tax fraud by prisoners, according to a report released by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The report, dated December 29, 2010, found ...

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Wrongful Conviction Suit Against New Orleans DA, Vacates $14 Million Judgment

by Derek Gilna and Brandon Sample

In a March 29, 2011 five-to-four decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a former Louisiana prisoner who filed a § 1983 suit against Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry F. Connick, Sr., based upon admitted Brady errors. The Supreme Court’s decision reversed a ...

Washington: Eye Gouging Assault Severely Injures Airway Heights Prisoner

A prisoner who killed his cellmate six years ago has assaulted and severely injured another prisoner at the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane, Washington, according to police. The victim, Chad Bolstad, was attacked by his cellmate, Michael L. West, 34, who previously had been convicted of first-degree murder for ...

Hopes Dashed for Criminal Defendants Facing Deportation in Virginia

In an interesting development resulting from the case of Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S.Ct. 1473 (2010) [PLN, Aug. 2010, p.11], a General District Court in Loudoun County, Virginia reopened four cases involving defendants who said they would not have pleaded guilty had they known they would face deportation ...

U.S. Admits Infecting Prisoners, Mentally Ill Patients in Guatemala in 1940s

The United States’ relationship with the Central American nation of Guatemala probably hit a new low in October 2010 with the revelation that as part of U.S. medical studies conducted over sixty years ago in Guatemala, prisoners, soldiers and mentally ill patients were infected with gonorrhea and syphilis without ...

U.S. Deportations Set Record in 2010

According to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano in an October 2010 statement, the United States set a record for deporting immigrants in the fiscal year that ended last September, reaching 392,862 deportations.

More than half of those deported, 195,772, had criminal convictions – which ...

ACLU Investigates Prisoners’ Deaths at Puerto Rican Prison

An investigative report released by the Puerto Rico chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in July 2010, concerning the Guerrero Correctional Institution in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, found that 53 prisoners had died during a six-year period from 2002 to 2008. According to the report, it was “particularly alarming ...

Two California Prisoners Die as a Result of Doctor’s Negligence

A Costa Mesa, California doctor’s negligence contributed to the deaths of two prisoners and near-blindness of a third, according to a December 2010 announcement by the state’s medical board. Dr. Allan J.T. Yin, 74, was placed on 35 months probation as a result of incidents that occurred ...