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Articles by Matthew Clarke

$500,000 Settlement for Fatal Beating of Phoenix Jail Prisoner

by Matt Clarke

On June 3, 2009, the Maricopa County (Arizona) Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to settle for $500,000 a lawsuit brought by survivors of a man beat to death in the Fourth Avenue Jail of the Maricopa County Jail System. The jail is operated by sheriff Joe Arpaio, ...

Injunction Against Missouri Sex Offender Halloween Restrictions Issued, Then Vacated

by Matt Clarke

A Missouri federal judge issued an injunction against enforcement of a new Missouri law imposing Halloween-related restrictions on registered sex offenders. However, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the injunction on October 30, 2008.

As part of the general demonizing and harassment of registered sex offenders ...

Second Circuit Reinstates New York Jail Guard’s Excessive Force Conviction

by Matt Clarke

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the federal conviction of a New York jail guard for intentionally using excessive force on a prisoner in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 242.
Zoran Teodorovic, a pre-trial detainee at the Westchester County Jail, was housed in a special section ...

Fifth Circuit Upholds $14 Million Award Against Louisiana DA’s Office in Wrongful Conviction Suit; Affirmed by En Banc Ruling

by Matt Clarke

On December 19, 2008, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal jury award of $14 million in a case involving the wrongful conviction of a Louisiana man for attempted armed robbery and first-degree murder, in which the prosecutors withheld an exculpatory blood test report and ...

Contraband Smuggling by Texas Prison Guards Rarely Punished Harshly

by Matt Clarke

A review conducted by a Houston newspaper concluded that a large quantity and variety of contraband is still being smuggled into Texas prisons by state prison guards, and those caught smuggling rarely receive harsh punishment.

Between 2003 and 2008, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) brought ...

Sheriff and Guards Indicted: Sex, Misconduct and Contraband Scandal at Texas Jail

by Matt Clarke

On February 27, 2009, a grand jury in Montague County, Texas returned a 106-count indictment against former Sheriff Bill Keating and ten jail guards, four prisoners and two other people in connection with drug-related offenses, contraband smuggling and sexual misconduct at the Montague County Jail.

Keating, 62, ...

Fifth Circuit Reinstates Prisoner’s Environmental Tobacco Smoke Suit

by Matt Clarke

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court’s order granting summary judgment to prison officials in a prisoner’s environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) lawsuit.

Getzell Johnson Murrell, Sr., a federal prisoner incarcerated in Beaumont, Texas, filed a pro se complaint against prison officials pursuant to ...

Ohio Supreme Court Rules Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Not Retroactive

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that a state statute restricting sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of a school (R.C. 2950.031) did not apply to sex offenders whose home purchase and offense occurred before the statute’s enactment.

Gerry R. Porter was convicted of sexual imposition ...

Texas Posthumously Exonerates Man Who Died in Prison

by Matt Clarke

On February 6, 2009, Travis County District Judge Charlie Baird did what no other Texas judge had done before – he exonerated a dead man. Timothy Brian Cole, who died of asthma due to medical neglect while incarcerated in 1999, was declared innocent of the rape charges ...

Supreme Court Holds Supervisory Officials Not Liable for Abuse of 9-11 Detainees

by Matt Clarke

On June 14, 2007, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part a district court’s denial of the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging abuse of pre-trial detainees at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) following the September 11, 2001 attacks. ...