Williams v. Ozmint Restoration of a prison inmate’s visiting privileges has mooted his appeal of suspension of those privileges for a two-year period as a penalty for the inmate’s suspected receipt of contraband; the 4th Circuit further concludes that the prison warden who imposed the suspicion is shielded by qualified immunity because the inmate did not have a clearly established right to visitation.
English v. Murphy Although there had been some violence between plaintiff’s decedent and fellow inmate Murphy, the two had also peacefully co-existed in the same cell for some time. In addition, there is no indication that the defendant-jailers believed plaintiff’s abnormal behavior was the result of a medical condition.
Lovette v. North Carolina Department of Correction In his dissent, Judge Ervin reasoned that the analysis in Jones v. Keller, 364 N.C. 249, 698 S.E.2d 49 (2010), applied to life sentences imposed under former G.S. 14-2 for crimes other than murder; despite the former statutory definition of a life term as 80 years’ imprisonment, a lifer’s earned time credits do not apply to reduce the time to be served on his sentence. Given that the DOC has interpreted its regulations as permitting the award of different types of time for certain purposes and has, in fact, awarded those credits to petitioners for those purposes, petitioners have received the awards to which they are entitled for the purposes for which they are entitled, and have not, under the logic of Jones, been deprived of a constitutionally protected liberty interest.
Lovette v. North Carolina Department of Correction When petitioners were sentenced to life imprisonment, life imprisonment was defined as 80 years. Although the petitioners in Jones v. Keller, 364 N.C. 249, 698 S.E.2d 49 (2010), were also sentenced to life imprisonment when that sentence was defined as 80 years, the Jones court limited its decision – refusing to apply earned credits to shorten the Jones petitioners’ sentences – to prisoners convicted of first-degree murder. Since petitioners in this case were convicted of lesser offenses (second-degree murder and second-degree burglary), Jones does not prevent the application of earned credits to their 80-year sentences.
United States v. Heyer The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act mandates that the Attorney General assume responsibility for the “custody, care and treatment” of sexually dangerous persons.
Eller v. Kaufman Since plaintiff was a pretrial detainee when he was allegedly denied medical care and otherwise mistreated, the Eighth Amendment does not apply to him. Instead, plaintiff’s claims are governed by the Due Process Clause.
Burnette v. Fahey Plaintiff Virginia inmates have not stated due process and ex post facto claims against defendant members of the Virginia Parole Board in their official capacities for an alleged policy of denying parole to parole-eligible inmates convicted of violent offenses; the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of the inmates’ complaint.
Robinson v. North Carolina Department of Correction Where plaintiff testified that, all the way around his wrist, there were “teeth marks” from too-tight handcuffs and that his wrist was bruised and swollen, but where a drawing plaintiff made to document his injuries indicated that only his left finger and thumb were swollen with no indication of bruising, discoloration, a cut or “teeth marks” laterally around his wrist, the evidence supports the Industrial Commission’s finding that plaintiff’s drawing was inconsistent with his testimony regarding his injuries.
Couch v. Jabe Virginia prison officials failed to show how allowing a Sunni Muslim inmate to wear a one-eighth-inch beard would implicate prison health or security concerns, and the 4th Circuit vacates summary judgment for defendant officials in the inmate’s suit under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
McDonald v. North Carolina Department of Correction Although G.S. § 12-3(12) defines “imprisonment for one month” to mean imprisonment for 30 days, G.S. § 12-3(3) defines “month” as a calendar month unless otherwise expressed. Where plaintiffs’ sentences are for more than one month, they are not entitled to have each month of their sentences construed as 30 days.