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Article • June 3, 2016 • from PLN June, 2016
Penal Servitude: A Reminder about the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment Exclusion Clause by by Charles Sullivan and Barbara Koeppel The U.S. Congress banned slavery in America 150 years ago on December 18, 1865 when the 13th Amendment became the law of the land (after a 250-year run). But it didn’t, ...
Article • May 15, 2012 • from PLN May, 2012
Prison Slave Labor Replaces Freeworld Workers in Down Economy by David Reutter The fact that prison slave labor can cut costs and generate revenue has never been a secret. Private businesses nationwide are vying to exploit prisoner workers to reduce operating expenses and gain a competitive advantage, while government agencies ...
Article • November 15, 2002 • from PLN November, 2002
Supreme Court Holds No Immunity for Alabama Hitching Post by David Reutter by David M. Reutter The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that held government officials are entitled for qualified immunity unless there exists previous case law that is "materially similar" to the ...
U.S. Cited for Human Rights Violations by Gary Hunter ( On May 15, 2001, at a human rights conference in Geneva, the United States was denounced for its inhumane and discriminatory practices. Amnesty International and the U.N. Committee Against Torture cited the U.S. for oppressive tactics by both public law ...
Hitching Post Unconstitutional by David Reutter The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that handcuffing a prisoner to a hitching post for prolonged periods violates the Eighth Amendment, but granted guards qualified immunity. Alabama prisoner Larry Hope was assigned to the chain gang at Limestone Correctional Facility ...
Prisoners Riot in Dartmouth Jail by Gary Hunter On April 15, 2001, the scene at the Dartmouth House of Correction in Massachusetts could have been lifted straight from the pages of a medieval novel. Prisoners stormed the woodshop, armed themselves with boards, then set the shop afire. While one group ...
Alabama Ends Chain Gang Experiment by A federal district court in Alabama has approved a settlement between Alabama state prisoners and the prison system, effectively ending Alabama's flirtation with chain gangs. The court also held that the practice of chaining prisoners to a "hitching post" is unconstitutional, cruel and unusual ...
Article • June 15, 2001 • from PLN June, 2001
Harsh Hitching Post Treatment States Claim by An Alabama federal district Court ruled state prisoner Toby Fountain stated a cruel and unusual punishment claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 for being tied to a hitching post for 9 hours. Alabama DOC authorizes the use of a "restraining bar," that is better ...
Article • March 15, 1998 • from PLN March, 1998
Class Action Certification Clarified by The court of appeals for the ninth circuit held that a district court erred when it dismissed as moot a jail detainee's lawsuit challenging conditions on a jail chain gang, before ruling on the plaintiff's motion for class certification. Timothy Wade filed a lawsuit seeking ...
Article • December 15, 1997 • from PLN December, 1997
Arizona Death Row Chain Gang Killing by PLN has previously reported how the death row chain gang in Arizona has resulted in numerous incidents of violence, including prisoners being wounded by shotgun blasts to quell fighting. On July 9, 1997, the violence took a bizarre and deadly turn. On that ...
Florida Paradox of Prisons, Politics and Profits by For the past three years the Florida state legislature has surfed the get-tough wave, enacting laws to clamp down on Florida's 65,000 state prisoners. They have enacted laws to remove weights and recreation equipment, eliminate funding for prison TV sets, and were ...
Article • February 15, 1997 • from PLN February, 1997
Filed under: Work, Chain Gangs
New Improved Chain Gang by F.B. Just so you will know, contrary to many published reports nationwide, the chain gang HAS NOT been abolished in Alabama. They have simply stopped chaining the prisoners on the chain gang in groups of five. These prisoners are still individually chained for no other ...
Circus is in Town by by Mr. Wolf Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, 'The degree of a civilization in society can be judged by entering its prisons and jails." By the events which unfolded in Phoenix, Arizona during September, 1996, it is no doubt evident now to the world at ...
Article • February 15, 1997 • from PLN February, 1997
Stunning Revelations by Adrian Lomax Recently Governor Thompson signed into law a bill permitting prisoner chain gangs in Wisconsin. In a high-tech twist on the old Southern chain gangs, Thompson's program includes requiring prisoners to wear electrical stun belts in addition to being chained at the ankle. When activated, the ...
Article • August 15, 1996 • from PLN August, 1996
Filed under: Work, Chain Gangs, Settlements
Settlement Reached in Alabama Chain Gang Suit by A year after Alabama became the first state in the nation to revive the use of chain gangs, state officials have agreed to end the practice permanently. As this issue goes to press details are sketchy and it is unclear whether the ...
Alabama Prison Chief Fired over Women in Chains by Alabama's prison commissioner, Ron Jones, was abruptly fired on April 26th after announcing plans to put female prisoners on chain gangs. Jones had ordered the warden at Julia Tutwiler State Prison for Women to develop the chain-gang policy. He said the ...
Arizona Death Row Chain Gang Problems by In December, 1995, Arizona's governor Fife Symington launched a program placing death row prisoners on a chain gang working in the prison's vegetable garden [Reported in the March '96 issue of PLN]. According to an Arizona newspaper report there have been two violent ...
Article • March 15, 1996 • from PLN March, 1996
Forced Labor for Arizona Death Row Prisoners by On November 22, 1995, a memo was distributed to Arizona's 119 death row prisoners. The memo relays an order issued by DOC chief Sam Lewis. It states in part: "Arizona Revised Statute 31-151 gives the Director of Corrections authority to require that ...
Article • March 15, 1996 • from PLN March, 1996
Florida Chain Gangs by In November, 1995, Florida became the third state, after Alabama and Arizona, to institute prison chain gangs. The prisoners work in 20-man crews, supervised by three gun toting guards. Prisoners are assigned to serve on the chain gang as punishment for disciplinary infractions. The prisoners wear ...
Article • January 15, 1996 • from PLN January, 1996
Filed under: Work, Chain Gangs
Back on the Chain Gang by John Stossel of ABC's 20/20 calls himself a libertarian. But rather than criticizing the reappearance of chain gangs as an assault on human liberty, Stossel promoted them on the June 9, 1995, broadcast as "reasonable punishment" and "only fair." When one Alabama prisoner pointed ...
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