State v. Bowden (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-06-1204, 21 pp.) (Paul Newby, J.) (Robin Hudson, J., joined by Cheri Beasley, J., dissenting) (Robert Hunter, J., not participating) Appealed from Cumberland County Superior Court (Gregory Weeks, J.) On writ of certiorari to ...Read More »
Prisons and Jails
Ballard v. Johns (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-02-0397, 20 pp.) (Malcolm Howard, Sr.J.) 5:11-ct-03042; E.D.N.C. Holding: As a civil detainee – while it is determined whether he is a sexually dangerous person – plaintiff is subject to prison rules and discipline, ...
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Robinson v. Shanahan (Lawyers Weekly No. 14-07-0242, 8 pp.) (Robert C. Hunter, J.) Appealed from Wake County Superior Court (Donald Stephens, J.) N.C. App. Holding: While this appeal was pending, the General Assembly passed new legislation, and respondents wrote a ...
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Prisons & Jails – Constitutional – Ex Post Facto Law – Due Process – Prisoner’s Credits – 1975 Life Sentence – Criminal Practice
State v. Bowden Even though defendant received a “life” sentence when such a sentence was defined as 80 years, this case is distinguishable from Jones v. Keller, 364 N.C. 249, 698 S.E.2d 49 (2010). Here, unlike the situation in Jones, the N.C. Department of Correction actually awarded and applied defendant’s good, gain, and merit time sentence reduction credits which he earned between 1975 and October 2009 to reduce defendant’s unconditional release date.
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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.
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Prisons & Jails – Wrongful Death – Constitutional – Eighth & Fourteenth Amendments – Violence & Medical Needs
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.
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Prisons & Jails – Criminal Practice – Sentencing – Constitutional – Life Sentence – Prior Statute – Earned Time Credits
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.
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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.Read More »
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.Read More »