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Another Appeal in New York Post-Release Supervision Case by Matthew Clarke On October 14, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin held she would retain jurisdiction over a class-action civil rights lawsuit in order to determine the damages to be awarded former prisoners for the imposition or continuation of post-release ...
Article • December 7, 2016 • from PLN December, 2016
Fifth Circuit Holds Louisiana Prisoner May Sue Over Failure to Credit Good Time by Matthew Clarke On January 1, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Louisiana prisoner may sue prison officials for failing to credit him with good conduct time which would have shortened his sentence. ...
Abu Zubaydah: Torture’s “Poster Child” by Marjorie Cohn In August, Abu Zubaydah, who has been imprisoned at Guantanamo for 14 years without being charged with a crime, appeared for the first time before the U.S. military Periodic Review Board, which determines whether Guantanamo detainees will continue to be held as ...
A Primer on Prisoners’ Constitutional Rights by Alex Friedmann Prison Legal News (PLN) regularly reports on prison and jail-related court decisions involving violations of prisoners’ constitutional rights. Those who are new to the arena of civil rights litigation and unfamiliar with prisoners’ few remaining rights may need a basic introduction ...
Article • November 7, 2016 • from PLN November, 2016
Fifth Circuit Holds Four Decades in Solitary Confinement Implicates Liberty Interest; Last Angola 3 Member Finally Released by Matthew Clarke On December 17, 2014, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that holding a prisoner in solitary confinement for almost 40 years implicated a liberty interest, and that prison officials ...
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Upholds Conviction for Contacting Victim by Lonnie Burton On April 27, 2016, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction of a Texas state prisoner for Improper Contact with a Victim. David Schlittler was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of his five-year-old stepdaughter. He ...
Wisconsin Jail Policies Unconstitutional But Not Enjoined by Mark Wilson A Wisconsin federal court held that a jail's disciplinary, mail, and publication rules were unconstitutional. The court declined to enjoin those practices, however, essentially rendering its holding a mere advisory opinion. On September 29, 1970 pretrial detainees of the Milwaukee ...
Nevada Prisoner Receives $500, Other Considerations, in Settlement of Complaint Asserting Numerous Civil Rights Violations by Lonnie Burton On April 18, 2016, the Nevada Department of' Corrections (NDOC) agreed to pay a state prisoner $500 and make other policy changes' as part of a settlement agreement resolving the federal civil ...
Article • October 25, 2016
Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Pretrial Detainee's Lawsuit for Unsanitary Conditions, Due Process Violations by Lonnie Burton On August 29, 2016, a three-judge panel of the Eleventh CircA.t U.S. Court of Appeals upheld an order of a federal district court in Alabama which dismissed the lawsuit of a pretrial detainee ...
Article • October 25, 2016
Eighth Circuit Finds No Constitutional Right to Communicate in Chinese by Lonnie Burton On August 15, 2016, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a case filed by a Chinese-born Missouri state prisoner who had his mail to and from China repeatedly rejected by prison officials. ...
Article • October 3, 2016 • from PLN October, 2016
Oregon Post-conviction Judgment Violates State Law by Mark Wilson Last year the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s judgment denying a prisoner’s collateral appeal, because the judgment violated state law. Following the direct appeal of a conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court, ...
Article • September 29, 2016
Filed under: Due Process
Missouri Supreme Court Invalidates Red Light Camera Ordinances by Mark Wilson The en banc Missouri Supreme Court held on August 18, 2015 that red light camera enforcement ordinances in three cities were invalid because they violated state law or due process. The City of St. Peters, Missouri enacted ordinance 4536, ...
Article • September 8, 2016
Virginia Supreme Courts Upholds Conviction of Man Forced to Stand Trial in Jail Clothes by Lonnie Burton On June 2, 2016, the seven judge Virginia Supreme Court affirmed a court of appeals decision to uphold the conviction of a defendant who had a jury trial while wearing jail-issued attire. The ...
Article • September 7, 2016
Missouri Prisoner's Conviction for Assaulting Guard Upheld on Appeal by Lonnie Burton On May 24, 2016, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, affirmed the conviction of a state prisoner charged with assaulting a Department of Corrections staff member. The length of the sentence imposed for the conviction was not ...
Article • August 26, 2016
GAO Study: Federal Grants Bypass Indigent Defense In Favor of Law Enforcement by A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms what most criminal defendants too poor to pay for an attorney already assumed: While hundreds of millions in federal tax dollars support prosecutors and law enforcement every year. ...
El Paso County Settles Ex-Prisoner's Disabilities Suit for $6,650 by Matthew Clarke On June 26, 2012, representatives of the County of El Paso, Texas signed a settlement in a suit brought by a deaf former jail prisoner over the lack of accommodations for disabled prisoners at the El Paso County ...
Article • August 24, 2016
Filed under: Due Process
Wyoming Prisoner Not Denied Right to Speedy Trial, Properly Denied Continuance by The Wyoming Supreme Court has held that a prisoner was not denied the right to a speedy trial and that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by denying the prisoner’s motion for continuance. Rene Vargas, a ...
Article • August 23, 2016
Solitary Confinement Emboldens Recalcitrant Witnesses, Breaks Court's Resolve by A Washington federal court ordered the release of two recalcitrant federal grand jury witnesses, after five months of confinement. In September 2012, Katherine Olejnik and Matthew Duran refused to testify before a Federal Grand Jury. As a result, a Washington federal ...
Article • August 12, 2016
No Oregon DNA Appeal Unless Testing is Denied or Limited by Mark Wilson The Oregon Court of Appeals held that prisoners do not have a due process right to a psychological evaluation at state expense for "rehabilitation hearings." Oregon prisoners convicted of Aggravated Murder are sentenced to life imprisonment with ...
Article • August 12, 2016
No Due Process Right to Oregon Parole Witnesses or Cross-Examination by Mark Wilson The Oregon Court of Appeals rejected a facial challenge to a rule denying prisoners the right to call or cross-examine witnesses at parole hearings. When the Oregon Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision (Board) has established a ...
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