By Christopher Zoukis The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on October 12, 2016 that a two-month delay in ordering a biopsy of a prisoner’s potentially cancerous masses did not constitute deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs. Calvin Whiting was incarcerated at the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna, Illinois in October 2010…

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By Mark Wilson

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals held on September 20, 2013 that an Arkansas jail guard was not entitled to qualified immunity for his deliberate indifference to a detainee’s serious medical condition which resulted in the detainee’s death.

On December 18, 2008, Saline County deputy sheriff Stephen Furr arrested Johnny Dale Thompson, Jr. During the arrest, Deputy Furr discovered an empty Xanax bottle that indicated it had been filled with 60 pills two days earlier. Thompson, who was slurring his words, admitted to taking medication and slept in the patrol car, but was easily awakened at the jail.

Jail guard Ulenzen C. King conducted Thompson’s booking process. King noted that Thompson appeared intoxicated; he asked to sit down but nearly fell out of the chair. He was unable to sign his name and “couldn’t even answer questions that Officer King was asking him.” King wrote “Too Intox to Sign” on the booking sheet.

Sometime after Thompson was placed in a cell at 7:42 p.m., another detainee alerted King that Thompson needed help, but King did nothing.

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Prison officials must provide sex reassignment surgery to a prisoner serving a sentence of life without parole if that treatment is deemed “medically necessary,” said the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit on January 17, 2014. Michelle Kosilek, a Massachusetts prisoner confined at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution Norfolk, sued Massachusetts Department of…

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