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Articles by Matthew Clarke

ACLU Pries Loose Employment Record of New Hampshire Trooper Who Detained Woman on Falsified Evidence, Leading to $237,500 Settlement

by Matt Clarke

On July 6, 2022, the New Hampshire Personnel Appeals Board upheld the firing of former State Trooper Haden Wilber, who allegedly illegally searched a woman during a traffic stop, found suspected heroin residue, and then — together with fellow Trooper Matthew Locke — falsified evidence that got ...

Four Prisoners Murdered at Three California Prisons Within Eight Days

by Matt Clarke

Within eight days spanning the end of April and beginning of May 2022, four prisoners were murdered in separate incidents at three California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons. At least eight prisoners are being investigated in connection with the murders, all but one of which ...

Federal Court Says Illinois Statute Barring More Than One Sex Offender per Address Is Unconstitutional

by Matt Clarke

On July 11, 2022, the federal court for the Northern District of Illinois enjoined the state Department of Corrections (DOC) from keeping 25 sex offenders imprisoned who were eligible for mandatory supervision release (MSR) but whose new housing violated a state law that bars more than one ...

Fifth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Texas Prisoners’ Challenge to Pandemic Prison Conditions for Failure to Exhaust

by Matt Clarke

On March 9, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the adequacy of pandemic precautions taken by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), holding that there was no exception for a pandemic emergency to the requirement ...

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Texas Prisoner Religious Touch and Audible Prayer During Execution

by Matt Clarke

On March 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) held that a Texas death row prisoner was likely to prevail on his claims under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq., that the state unduly burdened ...

Fourth Circuit Says Virginia May Require Muslim Prisoner to Purchase Prayer Oil From Vendor Also Selling Pork and “Idols”

by Matt Clarke

On February 1, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) did not violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, et seq., by requiring a Muslim prisoner to purchase prayer ...

Seventh Circuit Allows Wisconsin Prisoner to Amend Inartfully Pleaded Pro Se Complaint

by Matt Clarke

On February 2, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit revived a Wisconsin prisoner’s retaliation claim against a state prison guard, saying that the district court erred when it dismissed the poorly pleaded pro se civil rights complaint with prejudice without first granting an ...

Embattled Los Angeles County Sheriff, Brawling Over Closing Decrepit Jail, Accused of Ignoring Deputy “Gangs”

by Matt Clarke

Forced into a November 2022 runoff by a close primary vote, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva came out swinging at the Civilian Oversight Commission (COC) the very next month, defying a subpoena to testify on July 25, 2022, about reports that deputy “gangs” persist in the ...

Pennsylvania County Pays $147,500 to Jail Detainees Held in Solitary for Refusing To Cut off Dreadlocks

by Matt Clarke

On January 6, 2022, the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project (PILP) announced a settlement had been reached in a lawsuit filed for a trio of its clients, who were thrown in solitary confinement while incarcerated at the Lebanon County Correctional Facility (LCCF) after they refused to cut off ...

Seventh Circuit Says No Evidence Illinois Prisoner Lied About Endangerment to Circumvent PLRA’s Three-Strikes Rule

by Matt Clarke

On February 1, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a district court committed clear error when it found that a severely mentally ill Illinois prisoner lied about being endangered in an attempt to “sneak around” rules that would prevent him from ...