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Articles by Mark Wilson

Theft, Lies and Bribes Force California Warden’s Early Retirement, $11,500 Monthly Pension

Joe Lizarraga began working for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in 1986. He was appointed warden of the Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) in 2013, where he was named Warden of the Year by the California Prison Industries Authority in 2017.

Lizarraga reportedly stole from the Interfaith Food Bank Thrift Store in Sutter Creek, California on September 14, 2018. Despite earning an estimated $150,000, annually, he allegedly removed price tags from merchandise, then suggested lower prices to the cashier.

When Sutter Creek police investigated the matter, Lizarraga allegedly lied to the police chief, claiming that he did not suggest prices to the clerk. He also told the chief that he purchased the equipment for his family when it was allegedly for personal financial gain.

Lizarraga wrote a $125 personal money order in an attempt to dissuade a witness from participating in a criminal prosecution and later made a second bribery attempt using prison charitable funds, according to investigative reports.

On January 25, 2019, FBI agents raided Lizarraga’s Mule Creek office, seized his computer and escorted him off the ...

Maine DOC, Medical Provider, Pay $250,000 Settlement Due to Excessive Force on 11-Year-Old

San Francisco Eliminates Fees on Jail Phone Calls

Tioga County, New York Police Informant Paid $50,000 to Settle False Arrest Claims

In March 2014, Russell D. Towner was a ...

Second Circuit Vacates Summary Judgment on Connecticut Prisoner’s Failure to Protect Claim

Connecticut prisoner Christopher J.M. Lewis was a member of the PIRU or PIRU Bloods gang. He was ...

Oregon Court Holds Prison Litigation Reform Act Exhaustion Tolls Statute of Limitations

Anthony Sam White is a paraplegic prisoner of the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC). He was denied ...

NaphCare, Oregon Jail’s Private Healthcare Provider, Required to Disclose Records in Detox Death Suit

by Mark Wilson

An Oregon federal court in January 2020 compelled NaphCare, Inc., the private medical care provider for the Washington County Jail (WCJ) in Hillsboro, to disclose lawsuits and financial records in a wrongful death action stemming from the June 2017 detox death of a detainee.

County officials terminated ...

Ex Post Facto Oregon Parole Postponement Claim Not Cognizable in §2254 Proceeding

by Mark Wilson

On October 31, 2019, an Oregon federal court held that a claim that extended parole postponement pursuant to the retroactive application of a new law violates the ex post facto clause and is not cognizable in a 28 USC § 2254 federal habeas corpus proceeding. Such a ...

Oregon Federal Court: 8th and 14th Amendments Mandate Miller Hearing

An Oregon federal court held that a sentence that prohibits a juvenile offender’s possible release until he is 88 years old violates the Eighth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause because it denies a “meaningful opportunity” for release.

The Eighth Amendment requires a state to ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds Summary Judgment Against 14-Year-Old Mentally Ill Pretrial Detainee, Raped by Guard in Solitary

 by David Wilson

 The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a 14-year-old Tennessee detainee’s solitary confinement, mental health care and sexual abuse claims.

J.H. suffers from Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). This disease manifests in psychiatric symptoms, including abrupt ...