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Articles by Matthew T. Clarke

Supreme Court Says No to Trial by Military Commission for Gitmo Prisoners

On June 29, 2006, the Supreme Court held that prisoners being held in the military concentration
camp prisons at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo), could not be tried by the special military
tribunals set up by President Bush in a comprehensive military order dated November 13, 2001
(the Order). See 66 ...

U.S. Government Settles 9-11 Detainee Abuse Suit for $300,000

In a document filed February 27, 2006, the U.S. government agreed to pay an Egyptian who was
caught up in the post-9-11 sweep and detained for a year at the Brooklyn Metropolitan
Detention Center (MDC) $300,000 to settle his claims of having been abused by MDC guards.

Ehab Elmaghraby, the ...

CCA Fineable in New Contracts With Colorado and Hawaii

Corrections Corporation of America has signed new contracts with Colorado and Hawaii which,
for the first time, include the possibility of the states imposing liquidated damages if CCA fails
to provide the contracted services. The provisions resulted from a lengthy interruption of
services to female prisoners at a private womens ...

Pennsylvania Correctional Industries Overcharges Customers, Stockpiles Cash, Fails Mission

On September 13, 2005, Jack Wagner, the Pennsylvania Auditor General issued a report on his audit of Pennsylvania Correctional Industries (PCI). The audit covered, the period of July 1, 2000, through February 18, 2005, and was generally critical of PCI. Jeffery A. Beard, the Secretary of Corrections, agreed that the ...

Texas State Representative Criticized For Helping Prisoners and Families

Texas Representative Terri Hodge has been taking heat for (gasp!) helping prisoners and their families, in other words--for doing her job.
Hodge is accused of the following: (1) helping arrange rare face-to-face meetings between parole-eligible prisoners and members of the parole board; (2) helping obtain the dismissal of disciplinary charges ...

Texas Politicians Provided Perks Using Prisoner Slave Labor

Texas Correctional Industries (TCI), the industrial division of the Texas prison system, has been operating as a cut-rate, custom craft-goods supplier for dozens of Texas legislators. One politician furnished his new home with prisoner made goods. The goods include a dining table with hand-carved state seal adornment, ten chairs, bar ...

Survivors of Texas Jail Suicidee Win $516,000 Against Phone Provider

The mother and son of a prisoner who committed suicide by hanging himself from a telephone in his jail cell won a lawsuit against the phone provider. On appeal, the award was upheld, but some of the costs awarded were not.

Rolando Domingo Montez was 19-years old when he was ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Reinvigorates DNA Testing Law

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) handed down a decision that removed previous restrictions against prisoners seeking DNA testing to prove their innocence.

Billy James Smith, a Texas state prisoner, filed a motion for DNA testing. The court appointed an attorney to represent him. The attorney filed a formal ...

Alabama Clarifies Prisoners Right to Call Witnesses At Disciplinary Hearing

Alabama Clarifies Prisoners Right to Call Witnesses At Disciplinary Hearing

by Matthew T. Clarke

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama held that prison officials may not use excuses such as off duty or unable to reach by phone to deny prisoners witnesses at disciplinary hearings.

Lebron Luster, an Alabama ...

Wrongfully Convicted Texas Prisoner Finally Receives $118,000 in Compensation

In 1988, a 17-year-old Josiah Sutton was convicted in a Texas court of a rape he did not commit and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. Sutton spent close to five years in prison before new DNA tests performed in 2003 proved the tests previously performed by the discredited Houston ...