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Prison Legal News: November, 2014

Issue PDF
Volume 25, Number 11

In this issue:

  1. Prosecutorial Misconduct: Taking the Justice Out of Criminal Justice (p 1)
  2. Prosecutors Breaking Bad (p 24)
  3. From the Editor (p 28)
  4. Death Sentences Reversed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct (p 30)
  5. Wells Fargo Bankrolls Private Prison Companies, Immigrant Detention (p 32)
  6. Prison Systems Increasingly Provide Email – For a Price (p 35)
  7. Repackaging Mass Incarceration (p 36)
  8. Florida: Sheriff’s Office and Medical Provider Pay $1 Million for Prisoner’s Death (p 40)
  9. Habeas Hints: Supreme Court Habeas Review 2014 (p 42)
  10. Inspection Finds Improvements at CCA-Owned Ohio Facility Following Rocky Start (p 44)
  11. Norris Henderson: A Profile of Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform (p 46)
  12. The Double-Edged Sword of Video Visitation: Claiming to Keep Families Together while Furthering the Aims of the Prison Industrial Complex (p 48)
  13. Former Kansas Attorney General has Law License Suspended Indefinitely (p 50)
  14. Missouri DOC Must Provide Notice of Censorship (p 50)
  15. Philadelphia Prosecutor Busted for Filing False Police Report Against Ex-Boyfriend (p 52)
  16. Alaska Supreme Court Suspends Former Deputy Attorney General (p 52)
  17. Prosecutorial Misconduct Results in New Trial in Connecticut Murder Case (p 53)
  18. Missouri Prisoner Exonerated in 1983 Prison Murder; Brady Violations Cited (p 54)
  19. Florida Prosecutor Suspended for Ex Parte Contact with Judge During Murder Trial (p 54)
  20. News in Brief (p 56)

Prosecutorial Misconduct: Taking the Justice Out of Criminal Justice

Prosecutorial Misconduct: Taking the Justice Out of Criminal Justice

by Christopher Zoukis

The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous.... While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he ...

Prosecutors Breaking Bad

Prosecutors Breaking Bad

The following are various cases in which prosecutors have reportedly engaged in misconduct, ethical violations or criminal behavior, which evidence the need for effective solutions to the persistent problem of prosecutorial abuses.

California

In 2012, the California Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of Miguel Bacigalupo based ...

From the Editor

From the Editor

by Paul Wright

Over the past 24 years PLN has reported extensively on the structural dynamics of the American police state, which have resulted in the imprisonment of over 2.3 million people on any given day. Critical to mass incarceration is a quick assembly-line judicial process ...

Death Sentences Reversed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

Death Sentences Reversed Due to Prosecutorial Misconduct

by Christopher Zoukis

Death sentences imposed on prisoners in Arizona, Virginia and Tennessee have been reversed by federal appellate courts as a result of misconduct by prosecutors – including withholding evidence and making improper closing arguments.

Abuses by Arizona Prosecutors

An Arizona prisoner ...

Wells Fargo Bankrolls Private Prison Companies, Immigrant Detention

Wells Fargo Bankrolls Private Prison Companies, Immigrant Detention

While Wells Fargo & Company has sold off much of the stock it once owned in private prison company GEO Group amid a divestment campaign targeting the multi-billion-dollar bank, it has concurrently increased its shares in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

After ...

Prison Systems Increasingly Provide Email – For a Price

Prison Systems Increasingly Provide Email – For a Price

by Derek Gilna

Prison officials and corrections experts have long recognized that helping prisoners maintain contact with the outside world decreases the stress, isolation and loneliness that are part of the inherent nature of incarceration. Further, regular communication with those outside ...

Repackaging Mass Incarceration

Repackaging Mass Incarceration

by James Kilgore

Since my CounterPunch article in November 2013, which assessed the state of the movement against mass incarceration, the rumblings of change in the criminal justice system have steadily grown louder. Attorney General Eric Holder has continued to stream his mild-mannered critique by raising the ...

Florida: Sheriff’s Office and Medical Provider Pay $1 Million for Prisoner’s Death

In July 2013, Armor Correctional Health Services agreed to settle a wrongful death suit by paying $800,000 to the family of Allen Daniel Hicks, Sr., who died after being denied medical care while incarcerated at a jail in Hillsborough County, Florida. The county paid another $200,000 to Hicks’ ...

Habeas Hints: Supreme Court Habeas Review 2014

Habeas Hints: Supreme Court Habeas Review 2014

by Kent Russell

This column provides “habeas hints” to prisoners who are considering or handling habeas corpus petitions as their own attorneys (“in pro per”). The focus of the column is on the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA), the federal habeas ...

Inspection Finds Improvements at CCA-Owned Ohio Facility Following Rocky Start

Inspection Finds Improvements at CCA-Owned Ohio Facility Following Rocky Start

A September 2013 re-inspection report cited improvements in conditions at a privately-owned prison near Cleveland, Ohio compared to an inspection performed a year earlier, when state auditors identified numerous areas of non-compliance with state standards and conditions so bad that ...

Norris Henderson: A Profile of Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform

Norris Henderson: A Profile of Commitment to Criminal Justice Reform

by Gary Hunter

In 1977, Norris Henderson arrived at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, more commonly known, then and now, as just Angola. With the weight of a life sentence on his shoulders, he had to confront the prison’s ...

The Double-Edged Sword of Video Visitation: Claiming to Keep Families Together while Furthering the Aims of the Prison Industrial Complex

The Double-Edged Sword of Video Visitation: Claiming to Keep Families Together while Furthering the Aims of the Prison Industrial Complex

by Prof. Patrice A. Fulcher

At first glance, jail/prison video visitation schemes may seem beneficial to incarcerated persons and their families, as well as correctional departments. Jail/prison video ...

Former Kansas Attorney General has Law License Suspended Indefinitely

Former Kansas Attorney General has Law License Suspended Indefinitely

by Christopher Zoukis

On October 18, 2013, the Kansas Supreme Court indefinitely suspended the law license of former State Attorney General Phillip D. “Phill” Kline, who became nationally known for his repeated prosecutions of Planned Parenthood and Dr. George Tiller, an ...

Missouri DOC Must Provide Notice of Censorship

Missouri DOC Must Provide Notice of Censorship

A federal district court in Missouri has approved a settlement agreement that requires Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC) officials to provide notice when books and publications sent to state prisoners are censored and withheld.

The settlement resolves a class-action suit filed by Bobbie ...

Philadelphia Prosecutor Busted for Filing False Police Report Against Ex-Boyfriend

Philadelphia Prosecutor Busted for Filing False Police Report Against Ex-Boyfriend

by Christopher Zoukis

Assistant District Attorney Lynn M. Nichols, 47, assigned to the homicide unit in Philadelphia, was arrested on October 4, 2013 for filing a false police report as part of a scheme to seek revenge against an ex-boyfriend ...

Alaska Supreme Court Suspends Former Deputy Attorney General

Alaska Supreme Court Suspends Former Deputy Attorney General

by Christopher Zoukis

Former Alaska Deputy Attorney General and prosecutor Patrick Gullufsen, 66, was suspended from the practice of law for 18 months in July 2013 after a Superior Court found he had “blatantly lied” about forensic analysis of DNA evidence during ...

Prosecutorial Misconduct Results in New Trial in Connecticut Murder Case

Prosecutorial Misconduct Results in New Trial in Connecticut Murder Case

by Christopher Zoukis

In a rare public rebuke of a prosecutor found to have engaged in a “deliberate pattern of misconduct,” the Connecticut Appellate Court vacated a defendant’s murder conviction based on the prosecutor’s improper remarks during closing arguments ...

Missouri Prisoner Exonerated in 1983 Prison Murder; Brady Violations Cited

Missouri Prisoner Exonerated in 1983 Prison Murder; Brady Violations Cited

by Christopher Zoukis

Reginald “Reggie” Griffin, 53, was sentenced to death for the July 12, 1983 stabbing of James Bausley in a yard at the Moberly Correctional Center (then known as the Missouri Training Center for Men). In August 2011 ...

Florida Prosecutor Suspended for Ex Parte Contact with Judge During Murder Trial

Florida Prosecutor Suspended for Ex Parte Contact with Judge During Murder Trial

by Christopher Zoukis

A Florida prosecutor who engaged in text messages, cell phone calls and dinner dates with the judge presiding over a capital murder trial has been suspended for two years by the Florida Supreme Court. The ...

News in Brief

News in Brief

Alabama: A March 2, 2014 fight at the Elmore Correctional Facility resulted in eight prisoners being transported to Jackson Hospital, where three were admitted for further treatment. Details on the extent of the prisoners’ injuries and the circumstances of the fight were not released.

Argentina: Raunchy photos ...