A trio of Virginia legislators is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the state’s use of solitary confinement in prisons, especially of those who are mentally ill.
Washington, D.C., United States (AHN) – The Supreme Court plans to deal with a vexing dilemma next week of when criminals who commit murder are too young to be sentenced to long prison terms.
The hearing involves separate cases of two boys who committed brutal murders when they were 14 years old.
They both were sentenced to life in prison without chance of parole, which prompted outrage among advocates of juvenile justice.
They accuse the courts of brutality for failing to recognize that the boys’ immaturity might have contributed to their criminal behavior.
Alabama’s Equal Justice Initiative, which will argue the case next week on behalf of the defendants, says life in prison for children violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban against “cruel and unusual punishment.”
March 12, 2012 | By Julie Small | KPCC
The "Secure Housing Unit" at Pelican Bay State Prison
The "Secure Housing Unit" at Pelican Bay State Prison
Published: Sunday, January 15, 2012, 8:30 AM Updated: Sunday, January 15, 2012, 9:52 AM By Kent Faulk -- The Birmingham News
BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA -- Willie Thomas Morris left the federal prison at Talladega a free man on Nov. 8 after having served about two-thirds of a nine-year and two-month sentence for his conviction on gun and crack cocaine charges.
"His family was very happy to have him back home, especially before the holidays," said Scott Brower, the Birmingham lawyer who had represented Morris after he was charged.
CALIFORNIA - State law can address the claims of an inmate who says medical staff mistreated him at a privately run federal prison, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, rejecting the idea that the landmark Bivens case gives him federal standing.
Richard Lee Pollard filed a pro se lawsuit in 2002 over injuries he sustained by slipping on a cart left in the doorway of a butcher shop at the Taft Correctional Institution in California.
Judges determined to collect old fees despite a plan to clear ledgers.
COLUMBUS — Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor says judges and clerks of court will continue to aggressively try to collect unpaid court fines and costs, even if the legislature passes a new bill.House Bill 247 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 92-0 last week, it would allow judges to declare old debts uncollectible and allow them to take them off their ledgers. The bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday.
The exterior of Northampton County Prison, shown in May, 2011. (Kevin Mingora/Morning Call file photo)
11:45 a.m. EST, December 19, 2011
A Pennsylvania state prison where a group of corrections officers stand accused of tormenting and brutalizing inmates will face a federal civil investigation into alleged systematic civil rights abuses, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Seven guards from State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh, a medium-security facility, have been arrested since September and face state criminal charges including rape, assault, witness intimidation and official oppression. The most serious charges were brought against Harry Nicoletti, 59, a guard indicted on 92 felony and misdemeanor counts, including 10 counts of institutional rape.
Legal experts are divided on whether a condemned prisoner who drops resistance to execution should be allowed a dignified end.
|Oregon prisoner Gary Haugen faced death next month for killing two people, but Gov. John Kitzhaber banned further executions during his term. (Don Ryan, Associated Press / May 18, 20|
San Quentin, Calif.—Serial wife-killer Jerry Stanley wants to die.Imprisoned on death row for the past 28 years, Stanley insists he deserves execution for the cold-blooded killing of his fourth wife in 1980 and for shooting to death his second wife five years earlier in front of their two children.
Despairing of the isolation and monotony of San Quentin's rooftop fortress for the purportedly doomed, Stanley earlier this year stepped up his campaign for a date with the executioner by offering to solve the cold case of his third wife's disappearance 31 years ago — by disclosing where he buried her body.
AKRON, Ohio - Bianca Brown thought she understood all the consequences for pleading guilty to felony theft and forgery charges.
She knew about the suspended prison sentence and the terms of her probation. She didn't realize how that plea would forever alter her job prospects.
The 23-year-old Akron woman nat only faces difficulty getting a job because many employers won't look beyond her criminal record, but she also cannot legally be hired for many positions under Ohio law because of her conviction.
She can't work as a bingo operator. Or an emergency medical technician. Or at a nursing home caring for adults. Or at any county developmental disabilities board. Or hold any classified job with the state Department of Youth Services and many other state agencies.
The list goes on and on.
U.S. Sen. Jim Webb's proposal to form a commission to recommend widespread reforms to the criminal justice system lost a key vote Thursday in the Senate.
Webb has argued that changes are long overdue - the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, the bill notes, and half of prisoners will return to prison within three years of release. A disproportionately large share of minorities are behind bars.
By David Siders Friday, Oct. 07, 2011 | 12:16 AM
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Thursday making it a misdemeanor for prison guards or visitors to smuggle cellphones to inmates, a bid to reduce inmates' ability to organize gang activity and other crimes from behind bars.
Senate Bill 26, by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, toughens penalties for inmates caught with cellphones and subjects the smugglers to as much as six months in jail and a fine of $5,000 per device. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed similar legislation last year, saying it was too soft on inmates and those who smuggle phones.
Brown, a Democrat, also issued an executive order instructing the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to increase physical searches of people who enter prisons and to find a way to interrupt unauthorized cellphone calls.