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Articles by Douglas Ankney

High School Journalists Garner National Attention by Exposing School’s Use of Prisoner Labor

by Douglas Ankney

Amherst-Pelham Regional High School (APRHS) English teacher Sara Barber-Just was rubbing sleep from her eyes at 5:30 a.m. while reading the June 28, 2019, online edition of The New York Times. Then her jaw dropped in amazement when she saw the story about her journalism class’ ...

Kansas County Jails People for Unpaid Medical Bills

by Douglas Ankney

A county in rural Kansas is jailing people over unpaid medical debt, CBS News reported in February 2020. The county is Coffeyville, Kansas, which has a poverty rate twice the national average.

It’s also the place where attorneys such as Michael Hassenplug have built a successful law ...

Audit: Massachusetts Department of Corrections Failed to Provide Timely Health Care or Reentry Services

Gallup Poll Shows Growing Opposition to Death Penalty

A Gallup poll revealed that 60% of Americans believe that life in prison without parole is a better approach for a murder conviction than the death penalty. The poll was cited in the Death Penalty Information Center’s 2019 year-end report. “The death penalty has now disappeared from ...

Suit: Mississippi Man Sentenced to Two Days Hangs Himself After Jail Kept Him 52 Days Longer

After he lost work and was unable to pay a fine, Robert Wayne Johnson was sentenced to the Keller Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility (KNRCF) in rural Kemper County, Mississippi, on November 16, 2017. The father of five had struggled with mental health problems, including two suicide attempts. ...

New York City Paid McKinsey & Company Millions for Failed Program to Reduce Jail Violence

A December 10, 2019 report from ProPublica said the city of New York paid management consulting firm Mc­Kinsey & Company $27.5 million to reduce violence at jails on Rikers Island. But an investigation by the publication revealed that McKinsey manipulated reform efforts to give an appearance of ...

$1 Million Paid by Snohomish County Jail to Settle Detainee’s Opioid Withdrawal Death Lawsuit

On October 21, 2019, Snohomish County, Washington, agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit related to the death of Lindsay Kronberger. Kronberger had been a detainee at the Snohomish County Jail (“SCJ”) before she died in January 2014 of causes related to dehydration and opioid ...

Get Celebrity Endorsement and Get Pardoned

by Douglas Ankney

President Trump purchased an ad during the February 2 Super Bowl directed at African American voters that depicted black grandmother Alice Johnson in tears, saying, “I’m free to hug my family. I’m free to start over. This is the greatest day of my life ... I want ...

California: Qualified Attorney Work-Product Protection Applies to Discovery During Habeas Proceedings

by Douglas Ankney

In October 2, 2019, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ruled that the qualified attorney work-product protection doctrine applies in habeas corpus proceedings. In 1997, a jury convicted Samuel Zamudio Jimenez of two counts of murder and sentenced him to death.

Jiminez filed ...

State of New York 50 Percent Liable for Prisoner’s Injury Sustained from Table Saw

by Douglas Ankney

On January 31, 2019, a New York State Court of Claims found the state 50 percent liable for the injuries that prisoner Ralph Whedon sustained when operating a table saw at the Franklin Correctional Facility (FCF).

In August 2015, while Whedon was assigned to the work program ...