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Articles by Edward Lyon

Covid-19 Pandemic Bumps Still Anemic Clemency Numbers

by Ed Lyon

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health and penology experts have urged state and federal governments to depopulate their prison systems. State governors remain under increasing pressure to use their executive clemency powers to achieve this purpose. Some are, some are not. Some can, some cannot. ...

Should Sentencing Juries Consider Imprisonment Costs?

by Ed Lyon

Professor Michael Conklin recently released a law review article arguing the merits of allowing juries to consider imprisonment costs when they are deliberating sentences lengths, with the objective of lessoning mass incarceration. Conklin’s report is founded on and supported by dozens of statistical compilations, databases and statutes ...

Prosecutors Move to Close Case Against BOP Guards in Jeffrey Epstein Suicide

by Ed Lyon

Of the many mysteries surrounding Jeffery Epstein, including exactly where the billionaire got his fabulous wealth before committing suicide in a Manhattan cell in August 2020—while awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking in underage girls—the question of who is responsible was officially decided when federal prosecutors accepted ...

Colorado Using SWIFT but Cheap Wildlands Firefighters

by Ed Lyon

For many years PLN has reported on prison systems across the nation like those in Arkansas and Texas that pay prisoners nothing for the work they are required to perform. Others, like Louisiana, pay only pennies per hour, which is legal because the Constitution’s 13th Amendment that ...

Feds Declare Long COVID a Disability Under ADA, RA and ACA

by Ed Lyon

The COVID-19 pandemic is now a well-known, world-wide fact of life. Less well known is a lingering set of aftereffects that afflict some people infected with the disease, which the medical establishment has labeled “Long COVID.”

Some of Long COVID’s common symptoms include tiredness or fatigue, cognitive ...

Report Highlights Force Feeding of Hunger Striking Asylum Seekers by ICE and GEO

by Ed Lyon

Regardless of what people without first-hand knowledge of prisons or detention centers believe, prisoners are generally not the blood-thirsty, brutal animals depicted in the media. In fact, especially in the face of SWAT-styled rapid response teams used within institutions, prisoners are mostly hopeless, helpless, often powerless individuals. ...

ABA’s Private Prisons Prophecy Comes to Pass

by Ed Lyon

Prison populations exploded in every state across the country during the 1980s and ‘90s. It was during that massive expansion that the modern private prison industry was born as a “way to ease the burden on taxpayers by reducing public spending on government-run facilities,” as touted by ...

Nominal Representation Without Actual Representation: One Person, No Vote

by Ed Lyon

In the antebellum South, the Missouri Compromise allowed for every slave to count as four-fifths of a person for census and representative purposes.

In our current, much more enlightened nation, every prisoner counts as an entire person for census and representative purposes. One thing that has yet ...

California Female Prisoners Used as Honey Trap Bait for Rapist Guard

On April 29, 2021, Los Angeles attorney Jennifer A. Bandlow filed a federal civil rights lawsuit urging four causes of action on behalf of two unnamed female prisoners who suffered actual sexual assaults while acting as bait to catch prison guard Stephen Merrill sexually harassing them. They ...

The Killing Fields: Three Alabama State Prisoners Murdered in Five Days

by Ed Lyon

On May 8, 2021, 32-year-old prisoner Regial Ingram died at Alabama’s Bullock Correctional Facility. On May 6, 2021, 58-year-old prisoner Jody Potts died at Alabama’ s Limestone Correctional Facility. On May 4, 2021, 23-year-old Ian Rettig died at Alabama’ s Fountain Correctional Facility. Although the mortal week’s ...