West Memphis Three to Be Freed, But State May Avoid Liability.

CNN is reporting that a deal has been struck to release the “West Memphis Three.” In 1993, these three men (Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin) were convicted of murdering three boys from West Mephis Arkansas. The three will be allowed to maintain their innocence, but are being required to concede that they were prosecuted in good faith by the State. While I am not an Arkansas attorney, this moves seems to be designed to cut off monetary liability for the state.

There is something is something wrong with a system which refuses to compensate individuals for wrongful incarceration, regardless of fault. They have lost everything and will have to restart their lives penniless. Innocence should be enough. Our system should not require a dual showing of actual innocence and affirmative misconduct on the part of an individual player.

Hats Off to the NLG: Jailhouse Lawyers Manual 5.0

Even though US Courts say that someone with a high school education is capable of litigating a federal civil rights suit on their own with four to five hours of law library access per week, this has not been my experience. With my than twenty years of experience on prison law, I still find the law complex and many of the rules far more technical than those associated with ordinary civil litigation. For a person litigating from their prison cell, rising to the occasion is a Herculean Challenge. Yesterday, the National Lawyer’s Guild released its free version of its 5th Edition of the Jailhouse Lawyers manual in PDF format. Even though the book is written for a prisoner, many lawyers will also find the tool very helpful and you can’t beat the price!

Mich. Sup. Ct Rules that Jail Isn't Liable for Guard Rape of Inmate

Ms. Hamed was incarcerated in the Wayne County Jail on a child support violation. The booking officer said he would give her a better placement in exchange for sexual favors. Reversing twenty years of Michigan law to the contrary, the Michigan Supreme Court just ruled that employers are not responsible for harassment of their employees. Hamed v Wayne County, Supreme Court No. 139505. For more discussion on this case, take a look at Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly blog article on this ruling.