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Articles by Mark Wilson

Ninth Circuit Vacates California’s COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for Prison Employees

by Mark Wilson

On March 15, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated a lower court’s order that California prison officials implement a mandatory COVID-19 employee vaccination policy. The Court concluded that prison officials were not deliberately indifferent in not requiring all employees to get vaccinated, ...

SCOTUS Reinstates Boston Marathon Bomber’s Death Sentence

by Mark Wilson

In a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Clarence Thomas on March 4, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, reversing a lower appellate court to conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding a juror-screening ...

Ninth Circuit Strikes Nevada Ban on Muslim Prisoner’s Scented Prayer Oil, Allows Conditions-of-Confinement Claim Also to Proceed

by Mark Wilson

On January 26, 2022, a Muslim Nevada prisoner notched his second victory in as many months against state prison officials at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which upheld a lower court’s decision ordering officials with the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to allow ...

$1.4 Million Paid by King County, Washington to Settle Juvenile Solitary Confinement Class Action

by Mark Wilson

On January 18, 2022, the federal court for the Western District of Washington approved a class-action settlement awarding 76 juvenile offenders a total of $1,357,665, or $500 a day for their solitary confinement at two adult jails in King County. The court also approved a $50,000 award ...

Florida and California Experiments Use Direct Cash Assistance to Newly Released Prisoners to Combat Recidivism

by Mark Wilson

“Guaranteed income is a wayto recognize everyone’s inherent dignity,” declared an op-ed in Florida’s Gainesville Sun on November 5, 2021.

Penned by Mayor Lauren Poe (D) and Kevin Scott, a fellow at local anti-poverty non-profit Community Spring, the op-ed announced a pilot program that pays “justice-impacted” people ...

Ninth Circuit Won’t Spring Oregon Sex Offender Trapped in Self-Incrimination Box

by Mark Wilson

On September 8, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit declined to offer any relief to an Oregon sex offender who challenged his removal from parole-required sex offender treatment—which led to jail sanctions—for refusing to admit to his crime even though he was then ...

Seventh Circuit Reiterates That Threats and Withholding Grievance Forms Render Administrative Remedies Unavailable to Prisoner

by Mark Wilson

On January 24, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the dismissal of a federal prisoner’s suit and remanded the case to the district court, after finding that prison officials failed to carry their burden of proof that administrative remedies were actually available ...

Oregon Nurse Federally Charged With Raping Prisoners After State Prosecutors Declined to Prosecute

by Mark Wilson

On March 14, 2022, a federal grand jury in Oregon issued a 25-count indictment against a former nurse at the state’s only women’s prison, accusing him of sexually assaulting a dozen prisoners there from 2016 to 2017. Three days later, Tony Daniel Klein, 37, was fired by ...

Oregon Judge Invalidates Governor’s Clemency Grant to Dozens Sentenced to Life as Juveniles, Halting Parole Hearings

by Mark Wilson

On March 1, 2022, a lawsuit challenging clemency orders by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) was mostly rejected in Marion County Circuit Court. However, in ruling on the commutations for former offenders sentenced as juveniles, Judge David Leith decided in favor of district attorneys and ruled that ...

$3.8 Million Paid for Michigan Detainee’s Death from Alcohol Withdrawal After Sixth Circuit Affirms Denial of Summary Judgment to Jailers for Deliberate Indifference

by Mark Wilson

On March 7, 2022, a federal court approved a $3.8 million settlement between a Michigan county and the estate of a detainee left to die of delirium tremens (DTs) in the county lockup.

The settlement followed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth ...