The Ninth Circuit has held that a prison guard’s act of reading a prisoner’s legal mail – not merely inspecting or scanning it – constitutes a Sixth Amendment violation.

The Court of Appeals reversed a district court’s order dismissing, at the screening stage, a pro se civil rights action filed by Arizona death row prisoner Scott D. Nordstrom. Nordstrom alleged in his complaint that on May 2, 2011, he prepared a letter to mail to an attorney challenging his murder conviction.

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