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Prison Legal News: February, 1994

Issue PDF
Volume 5, Number 2

In this issue:

  1. How to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses at Trial (p 1)
  2. Ninth Circuit Upholds Ban on Attorney Contact Visits (p 2)
  3. Murder Incorporated (p 3)
  4. Qualified Immunity Law Clarified (p 3)
  5. California DOC Starts Use of Electric Fence (p 4)
  6. Shackling of Con Litigants Discussed (p 4)
  7. Reviews (p 5)
  8. Estate Proper Party When Defendant Dies (p 6)
  9. Officials Must Assess Informant's Credibility (p 6)
  10. Delay of Medical Care States Claim (p 6)
  11. Prisoner Entitled to Interest From Prison Account (p 7)
  12. Loved One in Prison? (p 7)
  13. No Right to TV Interviews (p 7)
  14. More Censorship and Repression in Indiana (p 8)
  15. Twenty-Seven Cons Die in El Salvador Riot (p 8)
  16. Class Differences in Crime Control (p 8)
  17. What's Wrong in the Ohio DOC? (p 9)
  18. City Liable for Negligent Medical Care (p 10)
  19. Involuntary PC Violates Due Process (p 10)
  20. WA DOC Wants to Open New Prison, Close Old Ones (p 10)
  21. Attorneys File Briefs for Peruvian POW's (p 11)
  22. Third Circuit Announces Rules for Appointment of Counsel (p 12)
  23. Rule of Law or Rule of Five? (p 13)
  24. Court Upholds Silencing of Dan Quayle's Drug Supplier (p 14)
  25. From The Editor (p 15)

How to Secure the Attendance of Witnesses at Trial

By Paul Wright

Most prisoner civil rights claims are filed by prisoner litigants who are representing themselves because they either cannot afford or cannot obtain counsel to do so. They can rarely afford to pay the relevant filing fees normally required to begin litigation and thus proceed in forma pauperis ...

Ninth Circuit Upholds Ban on Attorney Contact Visits

This is a class action suit filed by Arizona state prisoners. They sued on two issues. First, they contend that the Arizona DOC's policy and practice of banning all contact visits between prisoners and their attorneys at various prisons violates their right of access to the courts. Secondly, they ...

Murder Incorporated

By Bill Dunne

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons recently designated the U.S. penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana, as the facility at which prisoners sentenced to death by the federal courts will be housed until they are executed by lethal injection. The federal government has never previously maintained a ...

Qualified Immunity Law Clarified

Joseph Rankin was a pretrial detainee in the Harris County, Texas, jail. While awaiting a court appearance in a large holding cell a disturbance broke out after female prisoners passed in front of the cell. A deputy sheriff removed Rankin from the cell and, according to Rankin's complaint, placed ...

California DOC Starts Use of Electric Fence

On November 8, 1993, guards threw the switch on an electric fence surrounding the maximum security prison at Calipatria, CA. The $1.5 million fence stands 13 feet high, erected in a no man's land between two 12 foot fences topped with razor wire so that no one touches ...

Shackling of Con Litigants Discussed

Joe Woods is an Illinois state prisoner. He sued prison officials claiming his eighth amendment rights were violated when they did not feed him for two days during a lockdown. A jury ruled in favor of the prison official defendants. Woods appealed claiming that the appearance of his prisoner witnesses ...

Reviews

By Paul Wright

Jail Suicide Update is a quarterly newsletter published by the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives. While focusing primarily on suicide prevention in jails its information is useful for prison administrators seeking to prevent suicides in prison as well as attorneys litigating custodial suicides. The most recent ...

Estate Proper Party When Defendant Dies

Jerry Young is a New York state prisoner. He filed suit under § 1983 claiming that Terry Patrice, a prison guard, had beaten him. During the pendency of the suit it appears that Patrice died. The attorney general filed a motion to dismiss the suit claiming that because the sole defendant ...

Officials Must Assess Informant's Credibility

Kevin Richardson is a New York state prisoner. In 1985 he was infracted for allegedly stabbing James Caroline, another prisoner. At the disciplinary hearing Caroline submitted a statement on Richardson's behalf stating that Richardson was not the assailant. The hearing officer heard testimony, outside of Richardson's presence, from ...

Delay of Medical Care States Claim

Willie Harris was a pretrial detainee in the Coweta County, Georgia, jail. When he was arrested his hand was injured by tight handcuffs. Upon arrival at the jail, on September 6, 1990, he requested treatment for the injury. He was seen by the jail nurse on September 28 and later ...

Prisoner Entitled to Interest From Prison Account

Prisoner Entitled To Interest From Prison Account

Lester Tellis is a Nevada state prisoner. He requested that prison officials credit his personal property account with the interest actually earned on those funds. The officials refused, claiming that Nevada Revised Statute 209.241 grants the Director of Prisons authority to use ...

Loved One in Prison?

As a writer and spouse of an incarcerated man, I am putting together a book to help people deal with the problems involved in having a loved one in prison. Through the initial detainment, trial, jail time and resulting imprisonment, the family on the outside first goes through shock and ...

No Right to TV Interviews

Walter Johnson is a Kansas state prisoner. The television news program Hard Copy sought to conduct a face-to-face interview with Johnson. Johnson had communicated with the program by phone and mail. After initially being denied access to the prison, Hard Copy reiterated its request in a letter which prison officials ...

More Censorship and Repression in Indiana

On November 7, 1993, guards at the Maximum Control Complex (MCC) in Westville, Indiana, searched the cell of Shaka Shakur seeking to confiscate all copies of Human Rights Held Hostage , a civil/human rights publication. Not finding any copies they searched the other cells in the section. Still not finding ...

Twenty-Seven Cons Die in El Salvador Riot

On November 19, 1993, prisoners at the San Francisco Javier prison in eastern El Salvador rioted. The four hour battle between rival gangs left 27 prisoners dead and thirty wounded, they were hacked, beaten or burned to death. Autopsy reports showed the victims had high levels of marijuana, tranquilizers and ...

Class Differences in Crime Control

By Ed Mead

The other day a prisoner at a women's prison wrote and asked me how we, as revolutionaries, would handle crime problems differently than the existing government is now doing. The biggest difference would be both a social and an economic one, as the problem itself is ...

What's Wrong in the Ohio DOC?

It's been almost a year since the end of the siege at Lucasville. During this time investigations have been conducted by the State Legislature, State Highway Patrol and Scioto County Prosecutor's Office. The mass media has focused on "crimes" committed during the riot rather than on the problems ...

City Liable for Negligent Medical Care

Sean Simpkins was a pre-trial detainee in New York City. While in custody he was taken to the city owned hospital at Bellevue for sinus surgery. Instead of operating where indicated by a CAT scan the doctor operated on the wrong sinus resulting in Simpkins being unable to breathe properly ...

Involuntary PC Violates Due Process

Gregory Howard is a Michigan state prisoner. Howard was a prisoner at the state prison in Jackson when he requested placement into protective custody (PC) for protection from asserted enemies in the general prison population. He was transferred to a close custody prison for a psychiatric evaluation and placed in ...

WA DOC Wants to Open New Prison, Close Old Ones

The Washington DOC received a budget increase of 30 percent last year. As part of the two percent budget cutback affecting all state agencies the DOC has offered plans which would require the closure of two small prisons and delay the opening of the large Airway Heights prison near Spokane ...

Attorneys File Briefs for Peruvian POW's

By Paul Wright

On October 5, 1993, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) president Peter Erlinder and attorney Leonard Weinglass filed petitions with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of Abimael Guzman, the imprisoned chairman of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP) and several hundred PCP prisoners of war. The ...

Third Circuit Announces Rules for Appointment of Counsel

Harvey Tabron is a Pennsylvania state prisoner. He sued prison officials claiming they had failed to protect him from attack by another prisoner. In the course of the litigation Tabron requested that the district court appoint counsel to represent him, order the defendants to provide him with free copies of ...

Rule of Law or Rule of Five?

By Mark Tushnet

During her confirmation hearings Ruth Bader Ginsburg repeatedly described the role of the Supreme Court Justice as one of enforcing the rule of law. When she begins to work on the Court's cases, though, she may find that her colleagues have a different idea of the ...

Court Upholds Silencing of Dan Quayle's Drug Supplier

Brett Kimberlin is a federal prisoner serving a 51 year sentence on drug and weapons charges. He briefly gained a bit of notoriety during the 1988 presidential campaign when he claimed that he had supplied drugs to George Bush's vice-presidential running mate, Dan Quayle, in college. On at least ...

From The Editor

From the Editor

By Paul Wright

Welcome to another issue of PLN. You will notice that we are still experimenting with different formats. Our goal is to improve our appearance and at the same time make it more readable, just like the "real" magazines. Our last issue had four columns ...