Skip navigation
Prisoner Education Guide

Prison Legal News: October, 2002

Issue PDF
Volume 13, Number 10

In this issue:

  1. Into the Twilight Zone (p 6)
  2. From the Editor (p 7)
  3. Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case, 3rd Ed. (p 7)
  4. Supreme Court Upholds Forced Confessions in Kansas Sex Offender Treatment (p 8)
  5. CMS Overdoses Five Boston Jail Prisoners (p 10)
  6. Danish Security Firm Buys Out the Wackenhut Corporation (p 10)
  7. Washington Good Time Depends on When Crime Occurred (p 11)
  8. Supreme Court: No Punitive Damages Allowed Under RA and ADA (p 12)
  9. German Economics Minister Comments on U.S. Prison Labor (p 13)
  10. Credit for Time Served Required in Idaho Commute to Work Release (p 13)
  11. Habeas Hints: Editor's Choice (p 14)
  12. Exoneration of Conviction a Prerequisite to Legal Malpractice Claim in California (p 16)
  13. Attorney Fee Award Upheld in Washington Excessive Force Case (p 16)
  14. Exhaustion Not Mandatory for Kansas Habeas Petitioners; Retained Counsel at Disciplinary Hearings is Discretionary (p 17)
  15. Washington District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction for Kosher Meals (p 18)
  16. California Prison Law Libraries Survive (p 19)
  17. Guards at New York Juvenile Center Charged with Extortion (p 19)
  18. New York Guards Sentenced in Animal and Prisoner Killings (p 20)
  19. Texas Sex Slave Sues Prison System for Failure to Protect (p 20)
  20. Remand to Determine if TDCJ Grooming Policy Unconstitutional (p 21)
  21. Connecticut District Court Orders Post-Judgment Monitoring Fees (p 21)
  22. Ball Park Franks Fiasco: 21 Dead, $200,000 Fine (p 22)
  23. Honolulu Police Officers Indicted in Jail Food Scandal (p 23)
  24. Summary Judgment Denied in Colorado Hepatitis-C Treatment Suit Based on Lack of Internet Access (p 24)
  25. All Things Censored by Mumia Abu Jamal (p 25)
  26. Jailers Liable for Foreseeable Prisoner Suicide (p 25)
  27. Florida Prisoner Dies in CCA Jail (p 26)
  28. Ohio Nearly Closes 100 Year Old Asylum/Prison (p 27)
  29. Georgia Lawmaker Indicted for Aiding Prisoner Transfer (p 28)
  30. Oklahoma Rejects Prisoner Mail Box Rule (p 28)
  31. Sixth Circuit Upholds Denial of Prison Doctor's Qualified Immunity (p 29)
  32. Nominal Damages Not Automatic (p 29)
  33. News in Brief (p 30)
  34. Mexican Sweatshops Go Behind Bars (p 32)

Into the Twilight Zone

by Mumia Abu Jamal

With the seizure of the person (one can't say "arrest," for the government has announced it has no intention of prosecuting) of the American citizen alleged to have been planning "dirty bomb" strikes against U.S. targets, Abdullah AlMuhajir (formerly Jose Padilla), the government goes ...

From the Editor

The connection between felon disenfranchisement and mass imprisonment is rarely explored. In this month's cover story we discuss the correlation between the two. In many ways, the more things change the more they remain the same. Today's convicts effectively pad voter numbers when legislative districts are drawn which ...

Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case, 3rd Ed.

Represent Yourself in Court: How to Prepare & Try a Winning Case, 3rd Ed.

By Attorneys Paul Bergman & Sara BermanBarrett, Nolo Press, 2001 (528 pages)

Reviewed by Sam Rutherford

The third edition of Represent Yourself in Court is a plainenglish guide to handling a civil case from start to finish, including ...

Supreme Court Upholds Forced Confessions in Kansas Sex Offender Treatment

In a 54 decision, the United States Supreme Court has decided that a convicted sex offender's Fifth Amendment privilege against compulsory selfincrimination is not violated by a treatment program that requires admitting to all past sexual behavior. In a plurality opinion, Justices Kennedy, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas found that ...

CMS Overdoses Five Boston Jail Prisoners

Five prisoners at Boston's Suffolk County jail in Massachusetts were rushed to a nearby hospital after receiving the wrong medication. Jail guards found the five prisoners unconscious on the morning of September 23, 2001, after other prisoners alerted the guards by raising a commotion in their cells. Thomas Burke ...

Danish Security Firm Buys Out the Wackenhut Corporation

Danish Security Firm Buys Out The Wackenhut Corporation

In 1954, former FBI agent George Wackenhut and three FBI buddies formed a private detective firm in Miami. In 1955, the firm moved into the security guard business after winning a contract with National Airlines. In 1958, Wackenhut bought out his partners ...

Washington Good Time Depends on When Crime Occurred

A Washington state appeals court held that the amount of good time credits a prisoner received depended on when the underlying crime occurred, in a case where the good time available to prisoners convicted of certain offenses had changed. Washington, like most states, has repeatedly changed its good time eligibility ...

Supreme Court: No Punitive Damages Allowed Under RA and ADA

In a unanimous opinion, the United States supreme court held that punitive damages are not allowed under the Rehabilitation Act, (RA), 29 U.S.C. § 794 (a) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Jeffrey Gorman is a wheelchair bound paraplegic who lacks control over ...

German Economics Minister Comments on U.S. Prison Labor

In February 2002, German economics minister Werner Mueller was questioned by reporters about Germany's unemployment rate, which is over 10%. Many observers believed that Germany's unemployment rate hurt the reelection chances of German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Mueller responded that Germany's unemployment rate would be 1.5 percentage ...

Credit for Time Served Required in Idaho Commute to Work Release

The Idaho Court of Appeals has held that a judge does not have discretion to disallow credit for time served when commuting a prison sentence to a work release program.

Jason Albertson was sentenced to three years in prison with a one and a half year minimum for felony driving ...

Habeas Hints: Editor's Choice

This column is intended to provide habeas hints for prisoners who are considering or handling habeas corpus petitions as their own attorneys. The focus of the column is habeas corpus practice under the AEDPA, the 1996 habeas corpus law which now governs habeas corpus practice throughout the U.S.

EDITOR ...

Exoneration of Conviction a Prerequisite to Legal Malpractice Claim in California

The California Supreme Court held that when criminal defendants sue their defense lawyer for legal malpractice, they cannot use the civil proceeding to prove their innocence. Rather, they must first gain either a reversal of their conviction or other exoneration by postconviction relief.

Nicholas Coscia, a former attorney, pled guilty ...

Attorney Fee Award Upheld in Washington Excessive Force Case

The Washington State Supreme Court, sitting En Banc, held that the Superior Court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney fees against a police officer on an excessive force claim. This ruling is useful for prisoners bringing federal claims in state court.

Aaron Ermine sued the City of Spokane ...

Exhaustion Not Mandatory for Kansas Habeas Petitioners; Retained Counsel at Disciplinary Hearings is Discretionary

The Supreme Court of Kansas held that prisoners are not required to exhaust administrative remedies before petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus. The court also held that neither due process nor regulations of the Department of Corrections (DOC) entitle prisoners to representation by retained counsel during prison disciplinary proceedings ...

Washington District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction for Kosher Meals

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington has ordered a preliminary injunction (PI) granting a state prisoner kosher meals in accordance with tenets of Orthodox Judaism.

Roland Pitre is a state prisoner at Airway Heights Correctional Center (AHCC) in Washington. Though not of Jewish descent, nor ...

California Prison Law Libraries Survive

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) stipulated to ending its motion under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) [18 USC §3262(b) et seq.] to terminate a 1976 consent decree which mandates prison law libraries in CDC prisons. In August 2002, the Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals reversed the ...

Guards at New York Juvenile Center Charged with Extortion

Two guards at the Nassau County Juvenile Detention Center in New York were arrested and charged with seconddegree grand larceny. The guards, Bobby Stewart and Sean Bourne, are accused of extorting "protection money" from the parents of boys at Nassau. Bourne was arrested at work while Stewart was caught in ...

New York Guards Sentenced in Animal and Prisoner Killings

A New York prison guard was given a one-year sentence for crushing five kittens to death. In another New York case, a county jail guard received a three month sentence after being convicted of kicking a mentally ill prisoner to death.

On March 22, 2002, former Sing Sing prison guard ...

Texas Sex Slave Sues Prison System for Failure to Protect

For more than a year, Roderick Johnson was regularly and brutally raped and sexually abused while confined in a Texas state prison. In April 2002, Johnson filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 where he complained that prison officials not only condoned sexual slavery and widespread gang rape ...

Remand to Determine if TDCJ Grooming Policy Unconstitutional

Remand To Determine If TDCJ Grooming Policy Unconstitutional

by Matthew T. Clarke

The Fifth Circuit has remanded a case for the district court to hold an evidentiary hearing and determine whether the policy of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) forbidding prisoners from growing beards unconstitutionally violates Muslim prisoners ...

Connecticut District Court Orders Post-Judgment Monitoring Fees

The United States District Court, District of Connecticut, has awarded the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union Foundation (CCLUF) attorneys' fees in the amount of $67,445.88, and costs in the amount of $1,044. The award arises from on-going, postjudgment monitoring by the CCLUF after obtaining a consent decree in ...

Ball Park Franks Fiasco: 21 Dead, $200,000 Fine

by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

Let us now have a moment of silence for the victims of the Ball Park Franks fiasco.
Thank you.

This is the situation: Bil Mar Foods is a unit of the Chicagobased giant Sara Lee Corporation, the maker of pound cakes, cheesecakes, pies, muffins ...

Honolulu Police Officers Indicted in Jail Food Scandal

From January 1995 to September 2000, while prisoners at the Honolulu Police Department were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and prepackaged, reheatable meals, their captors were eating top sirloin and rib eye steaks at taxpayers' expense. Assistant Police Chief Rafael Fajardo and Major Jeffrey Owens are accused of using ...

Summary Judgment Denied in Colorado Hepatitis-C Treatment Suit Based on Lack of Internet Access

The Colorado Federal District Court has denied summary judgment for the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) in a suit seeking treatment for a prisoner infected with the hepatitisC virus (HCV). Several prisoner cases were then ordered consolidated. The ruling is one of the first to apply evidentiary rules to internet ...

All Things Censored by Mumia Abu Jamal

Seven Stories Press, 335 page paperback, $14.95

Review by Gary Hunter

For nearly two decades Mumia Abu Jamal has defied the deathgrip of Pennsylvania's death row. For nearly two decades he has revealed secrets that our nation's most powerful leaders do not want the public to hear ...

Jailers Liable for Foreseeable Prisoner Suicide

The Supreme Court of Alaska held that a jailer owes its prisoners the duty of reasonable care to protect them from foreseeable harm, including self-inflicted harm.

Rudolph Joseph was arrested in Nome, Alaska on. May 11, 1996 and committed to the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center. At the time of his ...

Florida Prisoner Dies in CCA Jail

On February 26, 2002, the family of a prisoner who died as a result of medical neglect at the privately-run Bay County jail in Florida filed formal notice that they intend to sue the jail, as well as the Bay Medical Center where the prisoner was treated, for failure to ...

Ohio Nearly Closes 100 Year Old Asylum/Prison

In April 2002, state budget cuts threatened to force the closure of Orient Correctional Institution near Columbus Ohio. Orient originally opened as a mental asylum in 1902 and was converted to a prison in 1984. The closing would have relocated 1,747 prisoners and displaced 533 employees. Eliminating Orient's ...

Georgia Lawmaker Indicted for Aiding Prisoner Transfer

On January 8, 2002, a Fulton County, Georgia grand jury indicted state senator Van Streat on four counts of violation of oath of office and one count of making a false statement. Both charges stemmed from Streat's alleged involvement in influencing the transfer of a state prisoner from whom ...

Oklahoma Rejects Prisoner Mail Box Rule

The Oklahoma State Court of Ap peals held that the "Prisoner Mail Box Rule" is not available to Oklahoma prisoners and that "filing" means when a proper petition is delivered to the proper court.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question of law to the Oklahoma Court of ...

Sixth Circuit Upholds Denial of Prison Doctor's Qualified Immunity

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld denial of qualified immunity to a state prison doctor by the Federal District Court in Michigan. Richard LeMarbe is a Michigan state prisoner. In 1996, he was treated for chronic gallbladder problems by Dr. Jerome Wisneski, a general surgeon. Two days after ...

Nominal Damages Not Automatic

The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that nominal damages are not automatic when a jury renders a verdict for excessive use of force, but fails to award compensatory or punitive damages. Temporary detainee George B. Oliver filed a civil rights action asserting state law claims for ...

News in Brief

Alabama: Faced with a state budget crunch that had led the state parole board to discontinue Thursday hearings and to consider laying off staff, in July, 2002, governor Don Siegelman found $438,000 in state and federal money to give the parole board to hire four new hearing officers and ...

Mexican Sweatshops Go Behind Bars

For years U.S. citizens have screamed about losing jobs to cheap overseas labor. Now it seems that U.S. prisoners are in danger of losing jobs to even cheaper prison labor in Mexico. In an effort to stimulate its economy, Mexico is allowing maquiladoras to open up shop in ...

 

Federal Prison Handbook

 



 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual

 



 

Advertise here

 



 


 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual