Civil and criminal case filings in federal courts have grown dramatically over the past two decades, but at the same time, the number of judges available to hear them has barely increased according to a report by researchers at Syracuse University. As a result, the study concluded, if Congress fails to act to solve the…Read More
It is a clear violation of the Ohio Revised Code and the Code of Ethics for a Judge to represent a criminal defendant in any capacity. The Ohio Revised Code holds: “A person that is a candidate for public office, or nominated, or has filed a petition or petitions SHALL not (A)Authorize, or employ the…Read More
By Prison Legal News The Oklahoma Supreme Court has held that jail officials are not immune from liability for excessive force claims under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act (OGTCA). On May 17, 2011, Daniel Bosh was detained at the Cherokee County Detention Center for failure to pay a traffic ticket. Video surveillance showed him…Read More
The Kansas Supreme Court reversed a prisoner’s sentence for possession of contraband – a small amount of marijuana – after it held the sentencing court misinterpreted its statutory authority by concluding it could not consider a downward departure to the presumptive criminal sentence. Prisoner Waddell Warren was convicted of introducing a controlled substance into a…Read More
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that an Illinois prisoner’s complaint that frequent lockdowns for substantial periods of time deprived him of exercise and caused him various health problems stated an Eighth Amendment claim. However, the Court found that he failed to state a due process claim concerning the loss of his monthly…Read More
A 2013 study found that the grievance system utilized by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) appears to have become an important tool to defuse prisoner complaints, supporting the belief that the failure of BOP officials to adequately respond to grievances contributes to higher levels of violence in federal prisons. The research study determined that…Read More
By Derek Gilna / Prison Legal News
In an 8 to 3 decision, the en banc Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling by Illinois U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Anderson, as well as an appellate panel that had partly affirmed that ruling, and held the judiciary should not “create a right of action for damages against soldiers who abusively interrogate or mistreat military prisoners, or fail to prevent improper detention and interrogation.”
The three appellate judges who dissented from the majority opinion argued that the plaintiffs, private American security contractors in Iraq, should have been afforded a Bivins remedy to redress their claims.
The dissent noted that both the facts and law provided an avenue by which Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, employees of Shield Group Security (also known as National Shield Security) stationed in Iraq, could seek damages for what they contended was torture by U.S. military personnel.
According to the en banc decision, “Vance came to suspect that Shield was supplying weapons to groups opposed to the U.S.,” and became an FBI informant. However, after the individuals they had fingered accused Vance and Ertel of “gun-running,” they were arrested by American military officials in April 2006.
They were then “held in solitary confinement and denied access to counsel … [and] interrogators used ‘threats of violence and actual violence, sleep deprivation and alteration, extremes of temperature, extremes of sound, light manipulation, threats of indefinite detention, denial of food, denial of water, denial of needed medical care, yelling, prolonged solitary confinement, incommunicado detention, falsified allegations and other psychologically-disruptive and injurious techniques.’” Vance and Ertel were classified as “security internees.”Read More
By Christopher Zoukis Ray Nagin, the ex-New Orleans mayor who used taxpayers’ dollars for his own lavish living, will surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prison on September 8, 2014, for service of a ten year term of imprisonment. Once, Nagin had earned $400,000 a year as a member of Cox Communications. His new budget…Read More
In an unpublished ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal district court’s sua sponte dismissal of a California prisoner’s claims that prison officials improperly removed money from his trust account without adequate due process protections. California state prisoner Anthony Brazier filed a federal civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,…Read More