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Articles by Mark Wilson

Oregon Faces State and Federal Contempt Proceedings Over Delayed Competency Services for Mentally Ill Defendants – Again

by Mark Wilson

"The Oregon State Hospital has known about this for 16 years,” criminal defense attorney Amanda Thibeault said as she fought back tears. “I feel like I’m failing my client. For too long the Oregon legislature and the agencies it funds have placed other priorities ahead of ...

Jails in Oregon and Washington State Have High Prisoner Death Rates

by Matt Clarke and Mark Wilson

The Spokane County jail in Washington State recently marked its ninth prisoner death since June 2017. But it was hardly unique. A study released in May 2019 by Columbia Legal Services (CLS), a nonprofit law firm, counted 210 prisoner deaths in local jails across ...

Body-Wire Evidence of Oregon Jail Murder for Hire Plot Must be Suppressed; Solicitation Does Not Support Attempted Murder Conviction

by Mark Wilson

 The Oregon Court of Appeals held that a prisoner who solicited another prisoner to kill a witness cannot be convicted of attempted aggravated murder. It also held that body-wire evidence obtained by the prisoner should have been suppressed.

Marcellus Ramon Allen was arrested on a May 2012 ...

Oregon Transitional Leave Violations Require Morrissey Due Process Protections

by Mark Wilson

In a case of first-impression, a fed­eral district court held that Oregon prisoners have a protected liberty interest in transitional leave that may not be revoked without procedural protections required by Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972). 

Oregon created an Alternative Incarceration ...

Oregon: Knowledge of Injury and Defendants’ Causal Role Required for Accrual of § 1983 Claims

by Mark Wilson

unanimous Oregon Supreme Court held on January 17, 2019 that a claim that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to the risk of sexual abuse by a guard at a juvenile facility accrued when the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known of his injury and the ...

First Circuit: Denial of Humira Psoriasis Treatment Not Deliberately Indifferent

by Mark Wilson

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a lower court properly granted summary judgment to a Massachusetts prison doctor who refused to prescribe Humira to treat a pretrial detainee’s psoriasis.

Jenna Zingg was a pretrial detainee at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute (MCI ...

Seventh Circuit Upholds Nationwide Injunction on Trump’s Attempt to Deny ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Federal Funding

by Mark Wilson

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a nationwide injunction, enjoining the Trump Administration from denying law enforcement grant funding to “sanctuary cities.”

Finding that one in five of its residents are immigrants, the City of Chicago adopted its “Welcoming City ordinance” ...

Third Circuit Reverses Federal Prisoner’s FOIA Request Denials

by Mark Wilson

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the dismissal of a federal prisoner’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Federal prisoner James Biear made FOIA requests of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and ...

Seventh Circuit Accepts Illinois Guard’s Concession that Summary Judgment Improperly Granted on Retaliation Claim Against Him

by Mark Wilson

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit accepted a guard’s concession that he was improperly granted summary judgment on a prisoner’s retaliation claim against him. The court also reversed the grant of qualified immunity on that claim.

Illinois prisoner Kenneth James Daugherty was confined ...

$25,000 Settlement Over Connecticut False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution Claims

by Mark Wilson

The City of Norwalk, Connecticut, paid $25,000 to settle false arrest and malicious prosecution claims against a Norwalk Police Department (NPD) detective.

On October 3, 2013, Robert Ragsdale complained to the NPD that he was robbed by an assailant who stole his watch and $10. He ...