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Articles by Michael Brodheim

Ninth Circuit: California Prisoner Need Not Appeal from Satisfactory Grievance Response in Order to Exhaust Administrative Remedies

Clarifying “the boundaries of proper exhaustion” within the context of California’s prison system, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a prisoner “has no obligation to appeal from a grant of relief, or a partial grant that satisfies him, in order to exhaust administrative remedies.”

In July 2004, Quillie ...

Taser International Settles Product Liability Lawsuit for $2.85 Million

by Mike Brodheim

Using tactics reminiscent of those once employed by tobacco companies, Taser International has for years engaged in a high-stakes campaign designed to deceive the public into believing that the stun guns it manufactures, known formally as Electronic Control Devices, are non-lethal and safe.

At least that’s the ...

California: OAL Disapproves Proposed Parole Board Regulation Formalizing Lifer Risk Assessments

In May 2011, California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) disapproved a proposed regulation submitted by the Board of Parole Hearings intended to formalize procedures requiring Board psychologists to evaluate the risk for future violence of life-sentenced prisoners being considered for parole.

In January 2009, the Board circulated a document which ...

California: Orange County Jail System Ordered to Remedy ADA Violations

by Mike Brodheim

Following remand from the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Pierce v. County of Orange, 525 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2008) [PLN, Feb. 2009, p.34], U.S. District Court Judge Audrey B. Collins held on January 7, 2011 that mobility- and dexterity-impaired pretrial detainees in Orange County jails faced discrimination ...

Federal Guard Convicted, Facing Life for Conspiracy Leading to Prisoner's Death

Michael Brodheim

In a rare prosecution of a corrections officer, a Florida federal jury convicted 33-year-old Erin Sharma of conspiring with fellow guard Michael Kennedy to deprive prisoner Richard Delano, 40, of his civil rights by setting in motion events which led to Delano's death in March 2005. When the ...

Ohio Legislature Cannot Increase Sex Offender Registration Requirements Imposed By Court

By Michael Brodheim

A divided Ohio Court of Appeals has held that changes to the state's Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) Act, increasing its registration and notification requirements, violate the constitutional separation of powers doctrine to the extent that they attempt to modify existing final sentencing judgments.

In January ...

Ninth Circuit Reverses Grant of Injunctive Relief in Ex Post Facto Challenge to Marsy’s Law

by Mike Brodheim

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a district court abused its discretion in granting preliminary injunctive relief to a group of California life-term prisoners who challenged, on Ex Post Facto grounds, a 2008 voter-approved initiative (Prop 9) which drastically reduced the availability and frequency ...

California: On Remand, Governor Must Consider All Available Information Relating to Current Dangerousness

By Michael Brodheim

The California Court of Appeal has held that when, on remand after the granting of a petition for writ of habeas corpus, the Governor reconsiders whether or not a life prisoner is suitable for parole, he is not restricted to consideration only of evidence that was before ...

California: Appellate Disentitlement Doctrine Not Applicable To Defendant Deported By ICE

By Michael Brodheim

The California Court of Appeal has held that appellate disentitlement, a reviewing court’s inherent power to dismiss an appeal by a party who has refused to comply with a court’s orders, does not extend to the circumstances of a defendant who has been deported by the United ...

California: Prisoner Entitled To Presentence Custody Credit for Time in Prison Past Parole Date Due Solely to Pending Charges

By Michael Brodheim

The California Court of Appeal has held that a prisoner, detained in prison solely because new charges (arising from in-prison misconduct) were brought against him, is entitled to presentence custody credits for all the time he remained in custody past his originally scheduled parole release date.

Three ...