55 year-old William Lopez was exonerated of a 1989 murder conviction in January 2013. Witness reports charged Lopez with the murder of a drug dealer, although no physical evidence was ever found. After 23 years in prison, “Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, helped connect Lopez with his legal team and highlight his case”. The evidence that initially convicted Lopez was weak to begin with, one witness statement was even later recanted. A federal civil lawsuit was set to begin Tuesday October 1, demanding $124 million for false imprisonment. Read More
There is a growing nationwide trend of prisoners being placed in facilities run by for-profit companies, such as Youth Services International. Florida is at the forefront of this trend, and has elected to privatize all of its youth prisons across the state. “A pair of recent lawsuits against a private youth prison operator in Florida amplify claims that the company, Youth Services International, has frequently covered up reports that staff sexually abused young people held inside its facilities”. In one instance, an administrator at one YSI facility, repeatedly made advances toward adolescent males, and supposedly brought inmates home with him to his personal residence. A second allegation states that a guard at a separate YSI facility began an intimate relationship with a 14-year old prisoner. Read More
Uh, what the??? Judge Mike Norman, from Muskogee, Oklahoma has decided on a different approach to sentencing criminals that come in his courtroom. Tyler Alred, 17, has taken a 10-year church sentence instead of prison for killing his friend and passenger, John Dum when he got in to an accident drunk driving. Included in his 10-year church sentence, he is also to graduate from high school and take alcohol and drug tests in order to defer this prison sentence. Dum’s family was actually happy to hear about this church sentence, since they believe that Tyler’s life should not be wasted in jail.
California prisoners finally start to eat again as a week-long hunger strike draws to an end. Approximately 200 inmates between two California prisons refused to eat in protest to new regulations being proposed for higher-security in prisons. One of the concepts being considered to highten security levels is to increase solitary confinement to span as long as decades. Prison officials believe that the only way to effectively disban gangs in prison is to physically seperate the prisoners. Keeping prisoners in solitary confinement is their most effective (only way) of keeping inmates from fraternizing.