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Prison Legal News: April, 2016

Issue PDF
Volume 27, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. Jailhouse Medicine - A Private Contractor Flourishes Despite Controversy Over Prisoner Deaths (p 1)
  2. From the Editor (p 8)
  3. Massachusetts: Lawsuit Filed to Stop Dog Searches of Prison Visitors (p 9)
  4. Excited Delirium Syndrome: Medical Condition or Cover-Up? (p 10)
  5. New Mexico: Sharon Jones’s Strep Death Among Shocking Prison Tragedies in Lawsuits (p 12)
  6. South Carolina Sheriff Resigns, Pleads Guilty to DUI (p 14)
  7. D.C. Circuit Court Partially Stays FCC Order Capping Prison and Jail Phone Rates (p 14)
  8. California Lifers Paroled in Record Numbers (p 16)
  9. Settlement in California Jail Suit Includes $4.8 Million in Attorney Fees, Costs (p 18)
  10. 2015 Annual Anti-Private Prison Awards Announced (p 18)
  11. Texas Parole Records Mistake Could Cost Taxpayers Millions (p 20)
  12. U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Idaho Supreme Court, Asserts “Federal Supremacy” (p 21)
  13. Prisoners Hang Themselves in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jails at a Rate that Dwarfs Other County Lockups (p 22)
  14. Use of Nutraloaf on the Decline in U.S. Prisons (p 24)
  15. New Federal Law that Brands Sex Offenders’ Passports Faces Court Challenge (p 25)
  16. $11.3 Million Jury Award for Former Colorado Jail Prisoner (p 26)
  17. Lifetime Registration of Low-level Sex Offenders found Excessive, Unconstitutional in New Hampshire (p 26)
  18. Texas Disciplinary Appeals Board Upholds Disbarment of State Prosecutor (p 27)
  19. Deaths of Prisoners in Indiana, California and Arkansas Linked to Flu Virus (p 28)
  20. $360,000 Verdict Against Indiana Sheriff for Denying Prompt Court Hearings (p 29)
  21. California Supreme Court Voids Ex Post Facto Sex Offender Residency Restrictions (p 30)
  22. Exonerated New York Prisoner Recovers $21.9 Million in Damages (p 30)
  23. California: Strip Searches of Prison Visitors No Longer Allowed (p 31)
  24. $2.5 Million Award for Wrongfully Convicted Former Michigan Prisoner (p 32)
  25. Ninth Circuit Rules Judge “Abused Discretion” in Imposing Abstinence as Supervised Release Condition (p 32)
  26. Seventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Terre Haute Prisoner’s FTCA Suit (p 33)
  27. Sixth Circuit Allows Revival of Untimely Habeas Appeal Using Rule 60(b) (p 34)
  28. $550,000 Jury Award for Failure to Treat Prisoner’s Broken Jaw (p 34)
  29. Defense Verdict in Kentucky Prisoner’s Death; Appellate Court Reverses (p 36)
  30. Kentucky Restores Voting Rights for Former Prisoners, then Reverses Course (p 36)
  31. Prison’s Censorship of Newsweek Upheld (p 38)
  32. Lawsuits Challenge Release Debit Cards; Courts Rule Against Arbitration (p 38)
  33. Texas: $400,000 Settlement Award to Mentally Ill Jail Prisoner (p 39)
  34. The Will of the People: Ex-prisoners Voted into Public Office (p 40)
  35. Ninth Circuit: Improper ICE Detainer Constitutes Article III Injury (p 42)
  36. Transparent Jumpsuit for Prison Transport May Violate Eighth Amendment (p 43)
  37. Privately-operated Texas Prison Rebounds (p 44)
  38. Delayed Washington Competency Evaluations and Treatment Violate Due Process (p 46)
  39. Sacramento County Settles Former Jail Prisoner’s Lawsuits for $3,800 (p 46)
  40. Lawsuit Claiming CMUs Lack Due Process on Appeal to D.C. Circuit (p 47)
  41. Book Review: "Illegal to Legal: Business Success for (ex)Criminals, by R.L. Pelshaw" (p 48)
  42. Colson Task Force Report Highlights BOP Issues, Makes Recommendations (p 48)
  43. Second Circuit Allows Muslim Prisoners’ Bivens Claims to Proceed (p 50)
  44. DOJ Settlement to Improve Conditions at Mississippi Juvenile Facility (p 50)
  45. “Fatal Neglect” Report Faults ICE Health Care for Deaths of Detained Immigrants (p 52)
  46. Ninth Circuit: Freezing Prisoner’s Funds Requires Pre-deprivation Process (p 52)
  47. Pepper-spraying Sleeping Prisoner Unconstitutional, but Case Loses at Trial (p 53)
  48. Architects’ Ethics Panel to Consider Boycott of Execution Chambers and Prison Design (p 54)
  49. Deaf Prisoners Win Important Settlements in Kentucky and Maryland (p 55)
  50. $3.5 Million for South Carolina Prisoner’s Death Due to Deliberate Indifference (p 56)
  51. Tennessee Prisoner Awarded $60,000 for Guards’ Use of Excessive Force (p 56)
  52. Report Finds Shortcomings at Santa Clara County, California Jail (p 57)
  53. Failure to Timely Assert Affirmative Defense in Responsive Pleading Constitutes Waiver (p 58)
  54. Court’s Gag Order in Michigan Jail Corruption Case Reversed (p 58)
  55. $2.5 Million Settlement in North Carolina Prisoner’s Dehydration Death (p 59)
  56. Federal Lawsuit Claims Negligence Caused Pennsylvania Prisoner’s Heroin Overdose Death (p 60)
  57. Irish High Court Bars Extradition of Terror Suspect to U.S., Citing Inhumanity of Solitary Confinement (p 60)
  58. Medical Marijuana Use by Arizona Probationer Cannot Support Violation (p 61)
  59. News in Brief (p 63)

Jailhouse Medicine - A Private Contractor Flourishes Despite Controversy Over Prisoner Deaths

Jailhouse Medicine - A Private Contractor Flourishes Despite Controversy Over Prisoner Deaths

by Brian Joseph, FairWarning

In July 2011, a jailhouse nurse in Imperial County, California found prisoner Marsha Dau lying naked and dazed on the concrete floor. Charged with illegally transporting aliens, Dau, 58, recently had been exhibiting strange and ...

From the Editor

Recent decades have seen the rise of not only private, for-profit prisons but also the privatization of other aspects of corrections systems, most notably the provision of medical care. As with prison privatization, the only people who have benefited are the owners of and investors in the companies. Everyone else ...

Massachusetts: Lawsuit Filed to Stop Dog Searches of Prison Visitors

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Boston-based Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts (PLSM) and attorney Leonard Singer filed suit against the Massachusetts Department of Correction in January 2014 to prevent prison officials from using drug-sniffing dogs to search visitors.

“Putting visitors through the humiliation of dog searches will reduce visits ...

Excited Delirium Syndrome: Medical Condition or Cover-Up?

Debate is quietly raging within the medical and law enforcement communities about a diagnosis first identified more than 160 years ago which more recently has become associated with the deaths of people in police custody, many of whom were involved in physical altercations with officers or shocked with Tasers before ...

New Mexico: Sharon Jones’s Strep Death Among Shocking Prison Tragedies in Lawsuits

by Michael Roberts, Westword

Westword recently shared video showing the jailhouse death of Michael Lee Marshall. The homeless man, who suffered from symptoms associated with paranoid schizophrenia, choked on his own vomit after being restrained by Denver, Colorado deputies in a November 2015 incident the city coroner’s office has labeled ...

South Carolina Sheriff Resigns, Pleads Guilty to DUI

In 2012, a historic $599,000 settlement was reached between Prison Legal News and then-Berkeley County, South Carolina Sheriff Wayne DeWitt after the Berkeley County jail rejected PLN’s monthly publication and books mailed to prisoners at the facility. At the time, the jail only allowed prisoners to receive Bibles. The ...

D.C. Circuit Court Partially Stays FCC Order Capping Prison and Jail Phone Rates

Over 1.5 million families with loved ones in state and federal prisons will experience significant financial relief with respect to the costs of Inmate Calling Services (ICS) beginning March 17, 2016, despite the best efforts of several major ICS providers, including Global Tel*Link, Securus and Telmate, and a ...

California Lifers Paroled in Record Numbers

Prisoners serving life sentences in California have been paroled at a record rate since Governor Jerry Brown took office in January 2011 – a positive trend in the view of many advocacy groups, but one that causes worry among victims’ rights advocates despite statistics which reveal a recidivism rate of ...

Settlement in California Jail Suit Includes $4.8 Million in Attorney Fees, Costs

After four prisoners committed suicide in the Salinas branch of the Monterey County, California jail system within a five-year period, a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013 against both the jail and California Forensic Medical Group, alleging substandard intake procedures, medical care and mental health treatment.

Shortly after an injunction ...

2015 Annual Anti-Private Prison Awards Announced

On March 1, 2016, the Private Corrections Institute (PCI), a non-profit citizen watchdog organization, announced its 2015 awardees for individual activism, organizational advocacy and excellence in news reporting related to the private prison industry. PCI opposes the privatization of correctional services, including the operation of prisons, jails and other detention ...

Texas Parole Records Mistake Could Cost Taxpayers Millions

Prisoners in Texas and their families are still feeling the impact of a botched Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) policy change in 2012 that led to the destruction of documents for some 86,000 parole-eligible prisoners, whose files were incomplete when reviewed by the Texas Board of Pardons and ...

U.S. Supreme Court Reverses Idaho Supreme Court, Asserts “Federal Supremacy”

Melene James sued the City of Boise and other defendants in Idaho state court in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, alleging assault, battery, false arrest, wrongful imprisonment and other claims against city police officers, but failed to prevail. In § 1983 suits, federal law provides that the ...

Prisoners Hang Themselves in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Jails at a Rate that Dwarfs Other County Lockups

by Michael Lacey, Phoenix New Times

How many people have died in our sheriff’s jails? On May 4, 2015, I asked a spokesman for Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a cadaver count.

It was not an idle question.

Since he was elected sheriff in 1993, county taxpayers have ...

Use of Nutraloaf on the Decline in U.S. Prisons

After decades of using food as a means of discipline, prison officials across the country are increasingly turning away from punitive diets as a response to misbehavior by prisoners.

One food that has been commonly used as punishment is known as “nutraloaf” – a concoction of mashed-together ingredients that are ...

New Federal Law that Brands Sex Offenders’ Passports Faces Court Challenge

 

First it was the so-called “War on Drugs,” complete with military-themed anti-drug task forces and disproportionately long prison sentences primarily reserved for poor people of color, which had little impact on U.S. drug consumption. Now it appears that war is being supplanted by an offensive against sex ...

$11.3 Million Jury Award for Former Colorado Jail Prisoner

A federal jury awarded a former Jefferson County Detention Center prisoner more than $11 million against the sheriff and the jail’s privately-contracted medical provider, Correctional Healthcare Companies (CHC) – now Correct Care Solutions – after he was denied medical treatment for at least 16 hours despite obvious signs of a ...

Lifetime Registration of Low-level Sex Offenders found Excessive, Unconstitutional in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Supreme Court held in February 2015 that requiring lifetime registration without review of the risk that low-level sex offenders present to the public is unconstitutional. The Court ordered that such offenders must be provided an initial risk hearing and periodic opportunities for further hearings if they are ...

Texas Disciplinary Appeals Board Upholds Disbarment of State Prosecutor

On February 8, 2016, the Texas Board of Disciplinary Appeals, appointed by the state Supreme Court, upheld the disbarment of former prosecutor Charles J. Sebesta, Jr. for using tainted testimony and false statements to obtain a death sentence against now-exonerated former prisoner Anthony Graves. Graves served 18 years in prison ...

Deaths of Prisoners in Indiana, California and Arkansas Linked to Flu Virus

A winter outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus is being blamed for the death of one prisoner and sickening 40 others, including five staff members, at the Putnamville Correctional Facility in Greencastle, Indiana in January 2016. Some of the prisoners were in serious enough condition to require hospitalization at the ...

$360,000 Verdict Against Indiana Sheriff for Denying Prompt Court Hearings

An Indiana federal court awarded nearly $360,000 in a class-action lawsuit alleging the Allen County Sheriff’s Office violated arrestees’ due process rights by failing to bring them before a court within 48 hours.

The class consisted of 962 people who had been arrested on a weekend. According to the ...

California Supreme Court Voids Ex Post Facto Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

Proposition 83, passed in 2006 by California voters and popularly known as Jessica’s Law, had the stated aim of protecting children from sex offenders. It was later codified at Pen. Code § 3003.5(b), but on March 2, 2015 the California Supreme Court struck down those parts of the ...

Exonerated New York Prisoner Recovers $21.9 Million in Damages

An exonerated former New York prisoner received $21.9 million as a result of settlements and a jury verdict in a federal lawsuit claiming that law enforcement officials were responsible for his wrongful convictions for rape and homicide.

Jeffrey Deskovic, 16, was arrested in January 1990 for the murder of ...

California: Strip Searches of Prison Visitors No Longer Allowed

After just over a year of increased scrutiny for prison visitors, presumably to stem the flow of drugs and other contraband into California’s 35 state correctional facilities, prison officials announced in January 2016 that they would end the controversial practice of strip searching visitors who fail preliminary drug screens.

In ...

$2.5 Million Award for Wrongfully Convicted Former Michigan Prisoner

An exonerated Michigan man will receive $2.5 million for his almost 26 years of wrongful incarceration. He was released from prison after it was discovered that Detroit police had tainted the victim’s identification and withheld exculpatory evidence.

Walter Swift was 21 when he was arrested on September 16, 1982 ...

Ninth Circuit Rules Judge “Abused Discretion” in Imposing Abstinence as Supervised Release Condition

Raymond Leo Jarlik Bell, convicted of filing false income tax returns to obtain fraudulent refunds, appealed his 97-month federal prison sentence on three grounds, including whether the judge committed Sixth Amendment error by failing to prompt him to present a closing argument; whether the government presented sufficient evidence to prove ...

Seventh Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Terre Haute Prisoner’s FTCA Suit

Federal prisoner Charles D. Keller filed a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) against prison officials at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, seeking damages after he was assaulted by another prisoner. Despite his history of mental illness that affected his ability to function and defend ...

Sixth Circuit Allows Revival of Untimely Habeas Appeal Using Rule 60(b)

The Sixth Circuit allowed a prisoner to revive the appeal of her federal habeas corpus action in the interests of justice after she won a civil rights lawsuit against prison guards who prevented her from filing a timely notice of appeal a decade earlier.

Hattie Tanner, a Michigan state prisoner ...

$550,000 Jury Award for Failure to Treat Prisoner’s Broken Jaw

The First Circuit Court of Appeals found that a Massachusetts federal district court improperly weighed the evidence when granting summary judgment to the defendants in a prisoner’s civil rights suit alleging nurses at the Bristol House of Correction failed to treat his serious medical condition.

Shortly after being booked into ...

Defense Verdict in Kentucky Prisoner’s Death; Appellate Court Reverses

A Kentucky state jury found for the defendants in a lawsuit alleging a jail guard and nurse failed to monitor and treat a pretrial detainee’s serious medical condition, resulting in her death. Recently, however, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Melissa Czaja, 34, was arrested ...

Kentucky Restores Voting Rights for Former Prisoners, then Reverses Course

On November 24, 2015, two weeks before the end of his term, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order that restored the right to vote to certain convicted felons. Less than a month later, on December 22, incoming governor Matt Bevin overturned that order on the grounds that it ...

Prison’s Censorship of Newsweek Upheld

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a grant of summary judgment to prison officials in a First Amendment challenge to the censorship of a magazine because it contained an article that reported violence and disorder in Mexico involving drug cartels.

Missouri prisoner Joseph Murchison had subscribed to Newsweek for ...

Lawsuits Challenge Release Debit Cards; Courts Rule Against Arbitration

Robert Regan, 67, was carrying $764 when he was arrested on a warrant in Rockdale County, Georgia. Upon his release from jail, instead of receiving cash or a check for the money seized during his arrest, he had no choice but to accept a debit card. Regan objected to the ...

Texas: $400,000 Settlement Award to Mentally Ill Jail Prisoner

On June 2, 2015, the Harris County Commissioners Court awarded $400,000 to Terry Goodwin, a mentally ill prisoner, to settle a civil lawsuit stemming from his extreme neglect while housed at the Harris County Jail in Houston.

“I have never seen anything like this in my 41 years as ...

The Will of the People: Ex-prisoners Voted into Public Office

What happens when voters elect a public official once deemed a public threat by the criminal justice system? From Connecticut to Virginia, Michigan to New Hampshire and Oregon to Oklahoma – just a few of the places where former prisoners have been voted into office – it’s politics as usual ...

Ninth Circuit: Improper ICE Detainer Constitutes Article III Injury

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s dismissal of a false imprisonment suit based upon an improper immigration detainer, as the district court incorrectly held that it lacked Article III standing.

In June 2007, Bernardo Mendia was arrested on several California state charges. The court granted bail ...

Transparent Jumpsuit for Prison Transport May Violate Eighth Amendment

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held last year that a prisoner stated a claim when he alleged he was forced to wear a see-through jumpsuit that exposed his genitals and buttocks while being moved from a county jail to prison.

After being convicted and sentenced for violating Illinois’ armed ...

Privately-operated Texas Prison Rebounds

Despite years of controversy that included sitting vacant for months after it was built and staff members being arrested for smuggling contraband and having sexual relationships with prisoners, the Jack Harwell Detention Center in Waco, Texas has rebounded. It now houses more prisoners, obtained a lower interest rate on the ...

Delayed Washington Competency Evaluations and Treatment Violate Due Process

“The state has consistently and over a long period of time violated the constitutional rights of the mentally ill – this must stop,” declared a Washington federal district court. “The in-jail wait time” before transferring incompetent criminal defendants to state hospitals “is far beyond any constitutional boundary.”

Washington ...

Sacramento County Settles Former Jail Prisoner’s Lawsuits for $3,800

In February 2015, Sacramento County, California agreed to settle three pro se federal civil rights actions filed by a former Sacramento County jail prisoner alleging theft of his mail, opening of his legal mail outside his presence and failure to provide at least three hours of out-of-cell recreation time per ...

Lawsuit Claiming CMUs Lack Due Process on Appeal to D.C. Circuit

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) first instituted Communication Management Units (CMUs) in 2006 at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, then added another unit to the supermax in Marion, Illinois in 2008. CMUs were designed to limit and monitor prisoner communication on a punitive scale not previously seen in ...

Book Review: "Illegal to Legal: Business Success for (ex)Criminals, by R.L. Pelshaw"

Illegal to Legal: Business Success for (ex)Criminals, by R.L. Pelshaw (The Pelshaw Group, 2014). 241 pages, $17.50 paperback

Book review by Christopher Zoukis

Criminal justice reform is an issue that has gained significant political and social traction over the last several years. Modest legislative headway is being ...

Colson Task Force Report Highlights BOP Issues, Makes Recommendations

According to the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections, named after the former top advisor to President Richard Nixon who served a stint in federal prison before dedicating his life to prisoner rehabilitation and spiritual growth, “the United States faces a defining moment” and an opportunity to correct the ...

Second Circuit Allows Muslim Prisoners’ Bivens Claims to Proceed

Although Muslim prisoners held at the harsh U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have received more publicity, conditions of confinement for prisoners of Middle-Eastern descent in domestic prisons have also been abusive. So abusive, in fact, that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit filed by ...

DOJ Settlement to Improve Conditions at Mississippi Juvenile Facility

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement to address conditions at Mississippi’s Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center (LCJDC). The settlement agreement is the culmination of a DOJ investigation and a March 31, 2011 findings letter from the department concerning security-related issues and living conditions at LCJDC ...

“Fatal Neglect” Report Faults ICE Health Care for Deaths of Detained Immigrants

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Detention Watch Network (DWN) and National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) issued a joint report, “Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention,” that describes case studies of deficient medical care resulting in the deaths of detained immigrants. The report, released in February 2016 ...

Ninth Circuit: Freezing Prisoner’s Funds Requires Pre-deprivation Process

Prison officials must provide a pre-deprivation hearing before freezing substantial prisoner assets, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held on April 6, 2015.

Under Oregon’s “pay-to-stay” law, prisoners are fully liable for their incarceration costs. The Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) calculates the incarceration cost by multiplying the daily cost ...

Pepper-spraying Sleeping Prisoner Unconstitutional, but Case Loses at Trial

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that “using a chemical agent in an attempt to wake a sleeping prisoner, without apparent necessity and in the absence of mitigating circumstances, violates clearly established law.” The ruling came in an interlocutory appeal filed by a Michigan prison guard.

Prisoner Nicholas ...

Architects’ Ethics Panel to Consider Boycott of Execution Chambers and Prison Design

by David Reutter

An advocacy group composed of architects, building designers and planners is hailing a decision by the National Ethics Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to reconsider a proposal to prohibit its members from designing “execution chambers and spaces intended for torture or cruel, inhuman, or ...

Deaf Prisoners Win Important Settlements in Kentucky and Maryland

Deaf and hard of hearing prisoners have been doubly punished in many prisons and jails, their disability often not only limiting their access to programs, services and communication with the outside world, but also putting them at risk of physical harm and unnecessary discipline due to their inability to hear ...

$3.5 Million for South Carolina Prisoner’s Death Due to Deliberate Indifference

The estate of a prisoner who died as a result of complications from medical ailments that went untreated at South Carolina’s Hill-Finklea Detention Center (HFDC) received $3.5 million from a settlement and jury verdict.

David Allan Woods, 50, was serving a 60-day sentence at HFDC. He had long-term medical ...

Tennessee Prisoner Awarded $60,000 for Guards’ Use of Excessive Force

A Tennessee federal jury awarded $60,000 to a prisoner after finding three guards at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution (RMSI) in Nashville had used excessive force.

The verdict found that prison guards Joshua McCall, Gaelen Doss and Sean Stewart used excessive force on former prisoner Todd Lee White while ...

Report Finds Shortcomings at Santa Clara County, California Jail

A report prepared by a San Francisco law firm following interviews with 944 prisoners and 33 staff members at the Santa Clara County Jail found numerous complaints of both physical and verbal abuse, uneven enforcement of rules, harassment and a grievance system that fails to recognize prisoners’ legitimate complaints.

According ...

Failure to Timely Assert Affirmative Defense in Responsive Pleading Constitutes Waiver

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held on April 8, 2015 that an Ohio federal district court did not abuse its discretion by finding prison officials had waived their qualified immunity defense in a prisoner’s civil rights action.

The lawsuit was filed by John Henricks, incarcerated at Ohio’s Pickaway Correctional ...

Court’s Gag Order in Michigan Jail Corruption Case Reversed

In March 2015, the Michigan Supreme Court concluded that a gag order entered in criminal proceedings against Wayne County officials charged with corruption in a jail building project must be reviewed.

Following an audit into the jail project that cost Wayne County taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, an auditor ...

$2.5 Million Settlement in North Carolina Prisoner’s Dehydration Death

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) agreed to pay $2.5 million to the family of a mentally ill prisoner who died after spending 35 days in an isolation cell.

Michael Anthony Kerr’s death in 2014 occurred during a transport from the Alexander Correctional Institution (ACI) to Central ...

Federal Lawsuit Claims Negligence Caused Pennsylvania Prisoner’s Heroin Overdose Death

A federal lawsuit alleges that officials at the Schuylkill County Prison in Pennsylvania were negligent in the 2013 death of a prisoner from an accidental drug overdose. The suit, filed on March 24, 2015, came almost a year after the findings of a coroner’s inquest which determined that negligence did ...

Irish High Court Bars Extradition of Terror Suspect to U.S., Citing Inhumanity of Solitary Confinement

The High Court of Ireland has declined to extradite a terrorism suspect to the United States to face justice, quashing an extradition request filed by American officials. Ali Charaf Damache, born in Algeria but a 15-year resident of Ireland and an Irish citizen, was accused of engaging in terrorist activities ...

Medical Marijuana Use by Arizona Probationer Cannot Support Violation

The Arizona Supreme Court held on April 7, 2015 that “any probation term that threatens to revoke probation for medical marijuana use that complies with the terms of AMMA [the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act] is unenforceable and illegal under AMMA.”

Before the Court was an appellate ruling that reversed ...

News in Brief

Arizona: On October 28, 2015, Maricopa County youth detention guard Patrice Dawson was arrested on felony charges of sexual misconduct. Dawson, who supervised juvenile offenders, was accused of having sexual relations with an underage prisoner; she was fired from the department after confessing to the relationship. In a statement, Arizona ...