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Articles by Harold Hempstead

Excessive-Force Claim by Now-Incarcerated Former Maryland Guard Survives

by Harold Hempstead

On September 2, 2021, the federal court for the District of Maryland denied a motion for summary judgment made by a state prison guard who is the defendant in a case brought by a prisoner who was himself a former guard, and who alleged he was subjected ...

Tennessee Governor Suspends Executions, Orders Investigation Into Lethal Injection Process

by Harold Hempstead

On May 2, 2022, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) halted all executions scheduled for the remainder of the year for an independent investigation into the state’s lethal injection protocols. Four days later, the interim director of the state Department of Correction (DOC), Lisa Helton, filed her admission ...

Nebraska Crime Commission Says Dodge County Jail Noncompliant With Reporting Requirements

by Harold Hempstead

On January 28, 2022, when Sheriff Steve Hespen retired after 35 years in Dodge County, Nebraska, he left behind unanswered a charge from the state Jail Standards Board (JSB) that the county jail was almost two years out of compliance in documenting admissions and releases.

That charge ...

Fourth Circuit Dooms Suit Filed After North Carolina Guard Murdered by State Prisoner

by Harold Hempstead

On November 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a substantive due process claim based on the state-created danger doctrine did not apply to Sgt. Meggan L. Callahan, who was murdered by prisoner Craig Wissink at Bertie Correction Institution (BCI) in ...

Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Wellpath in Kentucky Prisoner’s Suit Alleging Denial of Medical Care, Due to Lack of Expert Testimony

by Harold Hempstead

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit illustrates the importance of expert testimony in a prisoner’s claim he was denied constitutionally adequate medical care. In its ruling on September 17, 2021, the Court affirmed the decision of the federal court for ...

Fourth Circuit Refuses to Hold North Carolina Liable After State Prisoner Murders Guard

by Harold Hempstead

On November 17, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that no civil rights violation had been committed by North Carolina officials in the murder of a guard at the hands of a state prisoner at Bertie Correction Institution (BCI).

After the guard, ...

Imprisoned Former Alabama House Speaker Caught Admitting to Phony “Apology” Can Keep His Radio Stations Running

by Harold Hempstead

In a decision released on May 9, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowed imprisoned former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Lee County) to keep broadcast licenses for a half-dozen radio stations he owns in the Auburn-Opelika market. Meanwhile his request for early release has languished in ...

$7,000 Default Judgment Awarded in Failure to Protect Suit Against Former Arkansas Jail Guard

by Harold Hempstead

On November 23, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas awarded $7,000 in compensatory damages to a state prisoner who, while held in a Pine Bluff jail, was injured in a beating by fellow prisoners when a former guard failed to intervene.

The ...

$17.5 Million Paid to Ohio Prisoner Left Quadriplegic After Brutal Attack by Guards

by Harold Hempstead

In November 2021, Ohio state prisoner Seth Fletcher received a $17,500,000 settlement to conclude the civil rights complaint filed on his behalf against guards at Chillicothe Correctional Institution (CCI), after the developmentally disabled 21-year-old was the victim of a brutal assault that left him physically disabled, too. ...

Overdoses Climb in Colorado Prisons and Jails With Drugs Smuggled by Mail, Uber Eats

by Harold Hempstead

A Denver jail guard was fired on April 29, 2022, after an investigation revealed he allowed deliveries from Uber Eats in which drugs were hidden and later used by a detainee to commit suicide. The news comes on the heels of three recent fatal drug overdoses in ...