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Prison Legal News

Prison Legal News (140)

Published: August 29, 2010

Many may want them gone, but illegal immigrants in Oklahoma can be good business. The detention of illegal immigrants brings in millions of dollars for counties in the state. Jobs, jails and upkeep are funded by dollars generated through federal contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. So say county officials who handle the purse strings of some sheriff's departments in the state. Millions in revenue for transporting and detaining immigrants for the federal government have financed jobs, departments and, in some cases, entire jails.


By Brian Bowling
Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Pennsylvania- Allegheny County will pay $3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that successfully challenged the constitutionality of strip-searching people jailed for minor offenses.

County solicitor Michael Wojcik said Monday the county agreed to settle the case because recent rulings in similar cases across the country favored plaintiffs.

Thursday, 05 August 2010 15:08

Prison: 'Gladiator school' lawsuit should be axed

Written by

BOISE, Idaho — A major private prison company is asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit over prison violence in Idaho, saying the inmates bringing the case didn't try to solve their problems through administrative channels before they turned to the courts.

Saturday, 19 June 2010 21:52

Bills designed to cut prison costs

Written by

Associated Press



HARRISBURG- Pennsylvania - Three bills designed to reduce prison time for nonviolent offenders passed the state Senate yesterday, and supporters said the measures would save taxpayer money, relieve Pennsylvania's crowded prisons and reduce crime rates.

The bills, which passed without debate, now go to the House of Representatives. They have the backing of state Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard and the prisoner advocacy group, the Pennsylvania Prison Society, although the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association opposes some aspects.

Gil Halsted
Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Wisconsin Innocence Project is celebrating another victory. The Third District Court of Appeals has granted a new trial to Cody Vandenberg.

Vandenberg will be 41 in November. He's spent the last 15 years in prison for a crime it now appears he didn't commit. Innocence project co-director John Pray says emails have been pouring into his mail box from former UW law students who have worked in Vandenberg's case over the past ten years.

Saturday, 19 June 2010 21:16

Firing squad execution revives debate

Written by

Twice-convicted killer Ronnie Lee Gardner is shot in a Utah prison.

By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press
Published: 6/19/2010  2:25 AM
Last Modified: 6/19/2010  6:51 AM

DRAPER, Utah — A barrage of bullets tore into Ronnie Lee Gardner's chest where a target had been pinned over his heart. Two minutes later, the twice-convicted killer was pronounced dead as blood pooled in his dark blue prison jumpsuit.

It was the first time in 14 years that an American inmate was executed by firing squad — a method Gardner chose over lethal injection. But death penalty opponents around the world reacted with horror all the same, renewing an international debate about capital punishment in the U.S.

Barber v. Thomas (09-5201)

Appealed from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Oral argument: March 30, 2010

Petitioners Michael Barber and Tahir Jihad-Black are serving sentences in federal prison for various gun and drug charges. The Ninth Circuit allowed Petitioners to consolidate their cases with several earlier cases in order to petition the Supreme Court for certiorari. Petitioners are challenging the Bureau of Prisons’ (“BOP”) interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), which allows well-behaved and compliant federal-prisoners to receive up to 54 days off their sentences for “each year of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment.” Petitioners argue that “term of imprisonment” means the total sentence imposed by the court. Respondent contends that it refers to the prisoners’ actual time served. The standard of computation ends up differing because under Petitioners’ method, a prisoner receives good behavior credit for years they do not end up serving. Petitioners argue that the courts do not owe the BOP’s interpretation deference, because the statute is unambiguous and the record does not contain any reason for the BOP’s interpretation. Even if the statute is ambiguous, Petitioners argue that the rule of lenity should apply. The rule of lenity holds that when considering penal statutes, the courts should resolve any ambiguity in the defendant’s favor. Respondent agrees that the statute is unambiguous, but counters that it instead requires computation of good time credit on the basis of time served. Respondent also argues that even if the statute is ambiguous, the rule of lenity does not apply because the statute is civil rather than penal.

November 10, 2006 9:49 AM PST

What: A Wisconsin prison inmate says he has the First Amendment right to receive printouts of e-mail replies to his online personal ad.

When: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on November 1.

Outcome: The appeals court says the inmate's lawsuit against the warden of the Green Bay Correctional Institution can proceed.

What happened, according to court documents:

Jevon Jackson is an inmate in Wisconsin's Green Bay Correctional Institution, a maximum-security facility.

First Amendment Watch

By David L. Hudson Jr.  
First Amendment scholar

A probation restriction that prohibited an admitted gang member from obtaining new gang tattoos was too vague, a California appeals court has ruled. The court reasoned that the restriction could prohibit the defendant from obtaining a new tattoo that he didn’t know was a gang symbol.

Esequiel Barrajas, 27, pleaded no-contest to a felony count of possessing crystal meth. The police pulled him over because he was riding his bicycle down the wrong side of the road. When they searched him, they found a small amount of crystal meth.

Posted: Aug 02, 2010 3:27 AM EDT By JESSE J. HOLLAND

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - You have the right to remain silent, but only if you tell the police that you're remaining silent.

You have a right to a lawyer - before, during and after questioning, even though the police don't have to tell you exactly when the lawyer can be with you. If you can't afford a lawyer, one will be provided to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you, which, by the way, are only good for the next two weeks?

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