Inmate Denied Water Dies in Prison

BY: Michael B. Mushlin, Professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, Scholar, and Renowned Expert on Prisoners’ Rights.

The tragic and shocking shocking death of Terrill Thomas reminds us — as if we need reminding — that prisons and jails are places that need careful oversight. Without oversight, as Kafka warned over a century ago horrors will inevitably occur. Yet in America, sadly, there is little meaningful oversight of our penal institutions. That has to change or there will be more and more needless and cruel deaths to mourn.

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Event: Global Cybercrime Threat – Domestic to International Cyber Investigation

Please join the Criminal Justice Institute, Criminal Justice Society, and Technology Encryption & Cyber Law Society on Wednesday, September 28 at 4:00 – 6:00 PM in Room OG-01 (Ottinger Building, Ground Level) for an event titled The Global Cybercrime Threat: And How One Successful Criminal Prosecution Brought Few International Cybercriminals to Justice. Come and engage with John Bandler, Esq., Pace Law Class of 2002 alumni, as he discusses a “groundbreaking investigation that started with a report of credit card fraud and eventually uncovered the global cybercrime industry with participants from New York and California to Ukraine and Russia.”

See the details of the event here.

Mens Rea: Does “Deliberate Indifference” Satisfy the Requirement of Knowledge?

Can indifference, even if deliberate, satisfy a criminal statute’s requirement of knowledge? This is the issue raised by the defendant in United States v. Clay, in which a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc is presently pending. The defendants in Clay were prosecuted  under 18 U.S.C. § 1347(a), which states, in relevant part:

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully executes, or attempts to execute, a scheme or artifice—
(1) to defraud any health care benefit program; or
(2) to obtain, by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, any of the money or property owned by, or under the custody of control of, any health care benefit program,

in connection with the delivery of or payment for health care benefits, items, or services, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both. If the violation results in serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of this title), such person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; and if the violation results in death, such person shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both.

(b) With respect to violations of this section, a person need not have actual knowledge of this section or specific intent to commit a violation of this section. 

At trial, the court charged that the defendants could be found guilty based on “deliberate indifference.” The defendant were convicted and the conviction was affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit. See the Brief for Amici Curiae NACDL, Twelve Criminal and Business Law Professors, the Washington Legal Foundation and the Cato Institute listed below.

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The Supreme Court Addresses Double Jeopardy…Again

On October 4, the Supreme Court will hear an important Double Jeopardy case, Bravo-Fernandez v. United States involving the collateral estoppel effect of an acquittal in a mixed verdict case, where the accompanying conviction is reversed for error.  See an article in the current Atlantic Monthly Magazine, titled “The Trouble With Double Jeopardy,” discussing the case, and in which Professor Griffin, an expert on Double Jeopardy, is quoted extensively.

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Prisons: Private Prisons and Imprisoning Immigration Violators

An editorial in The New York Times today summarizes the status of the administration’s decision to terminate its contracts with private prisons — or at least to study the question.  It also suggests that the administration should re-think its use of prisons to house immigration violators who are not a threat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/05/opinion/prisons-arent-the-answer-on-immigration.html