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Articles by John Dannenberg

Book Review: A Dictionary of Criminal Law Terms, by Bryan Garner

(Thomson West, 2000). 751 pages, $29.00

by John E. Dannenberg

PLN readers will recognize this compact 751-page pocketbook as a “junior” version of the venerable 1,920-page Black’s Law Dictionary, which is also the work of seasoned legal lexicographer Bryan Garner. The Dictionary of Criminal Law Terms gains its compactness not ...

California U.S. District Court Holds that Prop. 9 Does Not Supersede Previously-Issued Injunction Regarding Parole Revocation Procedures

by John E. Dannenberg

Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence K. Karlton has upheld a 2004 injunction that conflicts with the parole revocation provisions of California’s so-called Victims’ Bill of Rights, also known as Marsy’s Law. Marsy’s Law, enacted in 2008 as Proposition 9, a ballot initiative, granted entitlements to ...

Angola: A Prison Passion Play

by John E. Dannenberg

The New Testament recounts Jesus’ plight as a prisoner: “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matthew 25:36).
Spurred on by Bible-banging Warden Burl Cain of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, ...

California Lifers: Deaths Exceed Parole Releases

by John E. Dannenberg

Between 2000 and 2010, 775 California lifers died in prison while 674 were granted parole. Those statistics, released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) pursuant to a public records request, reflect the grim reality that parole-eligible lifers are more likely to die in ...

California: County Not Liable For Precommitment Arrestees' Medical Costs

by John E. Dannenberg

The California Court of Appeals held that San Diego County was not financially responsible for medical care for precommitment arrestees who received medical care at community hospitals prior to being booked into county jail.

Sharp Healthcare (Sharp) and other healthcare providers sued San Diego County to ...

Ohio: Jailhouse Lawyer OK'd Absent State-Supplied Meaningful Alternatives

Ohio: Jailhouse Lawyer OK’d Absent State-Supplied Meaningful Alternatives

by John E. Dannenberg

A majority of the Ohio Supreme Court held that the right of prisoners to meaningful access to the courts entitles them to be aided by jailhouse lawyers because Ohio does not provide a reasonable alternative.
The Disciplinary Counsel ...

Death Penalty Scrutinized: Court Halts Missouri Physician-Overseen Lethal Drug Execution; Ten States Suspend Executions

by John E. Dannenberg

The death penalty has come under renewed scrutiny nationwide with nine states suspending executions by lethal injection. Serious questions have been raised both as to Eighth Amendment concerns of excessive pain during this allegedly anesthetized procedure, as well as how to administer anesthetics lawfully without employing ...

Seventh Circuit: Wisconsin DOC Mail Ban On Commercially Published Photos Of Celebrities Upheld

by John E. Dannenberg

The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC) policy that bans prisoners from receiving in the mail commercially published photographs of “celebrity figures, movie stars, models or other[s] that are produced for sale or distribution.”

Green Bay Correctional Institute prisoner ...

California Inspector General’s Audit of Women’s Prison And Warden Is Generally Favorable

By John E. Dannenberg

California law (Penal Code § 6126(a)(2)) requires the new warden of a state prison to be evaluated by the State Inspector General (IG) within twelve months prior to their state Senate confirmation hearing. The same law also requires the IG to audit and report on each ...

Minnesota: 1999 Law Requiring Sex Offenders To Undergo Mental Health Treatment Cannot Be Applied Retroactively

by John E. Dannenberg

The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that a 1999 statutory amendment mandating all sex offenders to undergo mental health treatment was an ex post facto law as applied to a prisoner sentenced in 1985. The earlier version of the statute had only provided for voluntary participation ...