Police can take people into custody for various reasons, and numerous laws limit and define what can happen after. The legislatures and governors of two states recently acted to place one significant new restriction on police-detainee interactions: having sex has been legislated to be taboo, something a detainee cannot legally consent to. It’s not as…Read More
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled that an excessive force claim made by the estate of a man killed by police during an arrest can go forward. While conducting a baptismal ritual with his aunt at Honeymoon Island State Park on the west coast of Florida, James Clifton Barnes…Read More
The guardian of a Seattle man who suffered brain damage as a result of a police beating has settled a federal civil rights claim for $1.75 million. On May 29, 2010, Seattle police officers Grant Leavit and Katrina Stuckey contacted Brian Scott Torgerson at his Seattle apartment. The officers were pursuing a municipal warrant for…Read More
A Williamson County, Texas man has settled a federal lawsuit against two police officers and the county for an undisclosed amount. Will Aguilar was driving his motorcycle home from a paramedic class April 9, 2009 when Williamson County police officers Daniel Robertson and Michael Baxter stepped into the road and waved at him to pull…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the former warden at the California Institute for Women (CIW) is not immune from liability for failing to protect two female prisoners from repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a prison guard. Jossie Ramos and Melissa Ortiz were incarcerated at CIW in 2010 when Guillermo…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis The Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Richard Roberts, 63, unexpectedly stepped down on March 16, 2016. Although the official reason for his departure was listed as an undisclosed disability, Judge Roberts’ early retirement came the same week a lawsuit was filed accusing him of sexually…Read More
Alleged mistreatment of a Pennsylvania inmate who refused to accept his new cellmate has given rise to a class-action suit over conditions at the prison. By Christopher Zoukis Sebastian Richardson is under 5 feet tall, but is having an oversized impact on the federal prison system, particularly the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, home to…Read More
The escapes and ultimate death and capture of inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat, respectively, were supposed to have prompted a clean-up in the Clinton Correctional Facility. There were suspensions, leaves, and retirements aplenty as myriad failures in prison protocol were revealed. The FBI also launched an investigation into the facility’s operations over accusations of…Read More
A North Carolina prisoner with a history of mental illness who was found dead in a transport van after being transferred to another prison died due to dehydration, according to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office.
However, the state pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Michael Anthony Kerr, 54, said records provided by the Department of Public Safety were so scanty and incomplete that she was unable to determine whether his death was accidental, a suicide or a homicide.
Prison records indicate that Kerr was held in solitary confinement for 35 days prior to his death and had spent the last five days of his life handcuffed and largely unresponsive. Prison officials repeatedly turned off the water to his cell because he had flooded it, and put him on a diet of milk and nutraloaf. The milk was later ordered withheld.
“They treated him like a dog,” said Kerr’s sister, Brenda Liles.Read More
By Prison Legal News A former Oregon jail guard was sentenced to probation for sexually abusing a female prisoner after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge; his defense attorney blamed the incarcerated victim while the prosecutor defended the light sentence. The guard, Eddie James Miller, 60, was later accused of sexually harassing a co-worker. As…Read More