Skip navigation

Articles by Edward Lyon

Monterey County, California, Jail Struggles, History of Suicides

Three prisoners in the Monterey County jail in California committed suicide by hanging in the first nine months of 2015.

The first was 34-year-old Cervantes Huerta in February, followed a month later by 52-year-old Sandra Lee Vela. The third was 24-year-old Erick DeAnda in September.

A class-action federal lawsuit was ...

Civil Rights Attorney Sues to Collect Fees

by Ed Lyon

Emily Posner is a Louisiana attorney representing state prisoner Kenneth Idel in a federal civil rights lawsuit. Idel alleges that prison guard Richard Pope broke and caused permanent damage to his jaw when Pope kneed the back of his head while he was on the ground in ...

$115,000 Settlement after Nebraska Prison Nurses Ignore Prisoner Suffering Heart Attack

by Ed Lyon

In mid-August 2015, diabetic Nebraska prisoner Aron Lee Boyd­-Nicholson was washing clothes in his cell when he began experiencing classic heart attack symptoms – including chest pain, dizziness and weakness – before he collapsed. Nurse Carolyn Moore tested his blood-sugar levels, then instructed him to ...

Jailed North Carolina Teenager Commits Suicide; $650,000 Wrongful Death Settlement

by Ed Lyon

After a troubled and tormented life, capped by a year of being assaulted and bullied in a Durham, North Carolina adult jail, 17-year-old Uniece Fennell hanged herself in her cell. 

Uniece was raised in California. Her father, an abusive drug addict, had recently been released from ...

Federal Prison Guard Admits to Sexually Assaulting Prisoners, Sentenced to Two Years

by Ed Lyon 

Apolonio Gamez, 41, worked for the federal Bureau of Prisons as a guard for six years, beginning in 2012. In May 2017, at FCI Victorville in California, Gamez caught a female prisoner stealing food from the kitchen. Rather than writing her a disciplinary report, he decided ...

HRDC Prevails in New Mexico Public Records Suit

by Ed Lyon 

The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), the parent organization of Prison Legal News, has prevailed in a lawsuit filed in New Mexico state court after Otero County violated provisions of the state’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). 

On June 19, 2018, HRDC requested records ...

Pennsylvania Town Rejects Private Prison Firm

by Ed Lyon

Regular readers of Prison Legal News are well aware of the abysmal reputations that private, for-profit prisons have earned. Apparently word travels and people on the outside eventually listen and pay attention to such matters, as the citizens of Lancaster, Pennsylvania demonstrated when they decided to ...

Prosecutorial Misconduct Records Protected by Colorado Supreme Court and SCOTUS

by Ed Lyon

In a February 2019 decision that impacts access to public records, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refused to review a unanimous ruling by Colorado’s Supreme Court issued eight months earlier which denied The Colorado Independent access to court documents in a capital murder case. That ruling ...

Denver, Colorado Pays $30,000 Settlement Over a $50 Bond Fee

by Ed Lyon 

Denver, Colorado resident Mickey Howard, often homeless and unemployed, was arrested on June 9, 2018 and charged with public intoxication and domestic violence. He had $64 when he was booked into jail.

The next morning at his arraignment, a judge set Howard’s bond at $10 – ...

California Cops Impersonate Prisoners to Obtain Evidence, Confessions

by Ed Lyon 

It is not uncommon to see police officers on TV shows masquerade as criminals to obtain evidence and even confessions from suspects. Many people may not be aware that this is an example of art imitating life. Such law enforcement practices were vigorously challenged in the ...