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Litigation Heats Up Over Extreme Temperatures in Prisons, Jails

During a heatwave in the summer of 2017, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Medium Security Institution in St. Louis, Missouri, and chanted “shut it down,” after a video showing prisoners at the jail begging for relief from soaring temperatures went viral. But in Texas and elsewhere, prisoners have taken their complaints of extreme –

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Virginia Pays $100K to Settle Suit over Inmate Suicide

On November 8, 2014, 19-year-old Dai’yaan Longmire was an inmate in Virginia’s Indian Creek Correctional Center in southern Chesapeake, placed in solitary confinement during the third year of a four-year term. He was serving time after pleading guilty to a total of five felonies and two misdemeanors. The charges included burglary, grand larceny, theft of

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Transfer Van Takes 18 Days to Move Inmate from Virginia to Texas

While at a convenience store in Winchester, Virginia in September 2016, Edward Kovari was arrested by a local police officer who had been checking out-of-state license plates and found an outstanding warrant from Texas accusing Kovari of having stolen the car he was driving. A waiter in his upper-30’s, Kovari had recently moved from Houston

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At an Oregon Prison Skimping on Flu Shots, One Inmate Dies, 44 Get Sick

According to federal health officials, the recent flu season is proving to be the worst since 2009’s devastating H1N1 swine flu pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)estimate the current flu season, with its dominant H3N2 strain, will be at least as bad as what they term the “moderately severe” 2014-15 flu season,

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$170,000 to Man After Detective “Went Too Far”

Truck driver Frank McClellan, 36, was awarded $150,000 in compensatory damages and another $20,000 in punitive exemplary damages against a Rensselaer, New York police detective for numerous Fourth Amendment violations. The detective plans to appeal the verdict. On November 16, 2000, McClellan was unloading his vehicle when, he claimed, Detective Steve Smith, who was in

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$21,060 Jury Award for Injuries to California Woman in Custody

A jury awarded a California woman $21,060 in compensation for medical costs and pain and suffering related to injuries that occurred while she was in police custody. On February 5, 2004, JulieAnne Shull drove to Sacramento, California with a companion to lobby legislators to pass a bill preserving old growth forests. After meeting with lawmakers,

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Compensating the Exonerated: State Laws Are Arbitrary and Senseless

October 2nd of each year marks the Annual International Wrongful Conviction Day. As of October 2, 2017, the third anniversary of the commemorative event, 351 people have been exonerated based on DNA analysis alone. Those 351 served an aggregate 4,788 years in prison prior to exoneration. DNA exonerations are just the tip of the iceberg;

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$8.4 Million Judgment in Defamation Suit to Retired Army Colonel

A retired Army colonel who was denied a promotion due to a rape accusation has been awarded $8.4 million in a defamation lawsuit filed against his accuser. Col. David “Wil” Riggins, a highly-decorated veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, was up for promotion to brigadier general in July 2013 when he was accused of raping

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Sixth Circuit: Jail Guard’s Criticism of Sheriff was Protected Speech

Joseph Boulton, a jail guard at the Genesee County, Michigan jail, lost his claim alleging unconstitutional retaliation for protected speech on July 29, 2015. During union arbitration proceedings, Boulton testified that Sheriff Christopher Swanson had misrepresented the amount of Taser, firearm and CPR training that Sheriff’s Office employees received. He also shared his concerns about

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