People v. SilasEnforcing Police and Prosecutorial Accountability
When Crishala Reed, a 28-year-old Black woman, received a jury summons, she was eager to go. But when she told the court that she supported the Black Lives Matter movement, it became clear that she was not going to be seated on the jury. She was questioned by the prosecutor about whether she supported rioting...
Filed - July 31, 2020
Washington v. Cannizzaro (Louisiana Fourth Circuit)Prosecutorial Discretion
The MacArthur Justice Center is suing Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro in light of his office’s practice of gathering evidence using subpoenas that do not have the required advance approval of a court. The suit asks the Orleans Parish Civil District Court to order Cannizzaro to comply with a 2015 public records request for copies of district attorney...
Filed - May 12, 2017
Updated - June 26, 2020
Balsewicz v. PawlykHealth and Safety
Proceeding without counsel, Ms. Balsewicz filed an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, alleging that the sergeant violated her Eighth Amendment right to freedom from cruel and unusual punishment by failing to protect her from a substantial risk of serious harm. The district...
Filed - June 26, 2020
Jones v. TreubigPolice Abuse
Mr. Jones was in his own apartment building when a group of NYPD officers attempted to arrest him for a suspected drug transaction. In response to Mr. Jones’s slightest resistance—insisting on an explanation for his arrest—the officers used an escalating battery of force: from a nightstick, to pepper spray, to shooting Taser...
Filed - December 21, 2018
Beaman v. Normal (Illinois Supreme Court)Wrongful Convictions
Alan Beaman spent over a decade in prison after being wrongfully convicted of the 1993 murder of his ex-girlfriend. The MacArthur Justice Center represents Mr. Beaman in his lawsuit against the City of Normal and the three former Normal police officers who orchestrated the wrongful conviction.
Filed - April 11, 2014
Updated - June 22, 2018
Lowe v. Raemisch and Apodaca v. Raemisch (Certiorari Petitions)Solitary Confinement
For more than two decades, the Colorado State Penitentiary (“CSP”) denied outdoor exercise to all prisoners subjected to solitary confinement, a practice that Justice Kennedy condemned in 1979 when he was a judge on the Ninth Circuit. As Justice Kennedy appeared to recognize long ago, the deprivation piles barbarity upon barbarity. In these cases, outdoor...
Filed - March 9, 2018
Updated - May 25, 2018
Virginia Department of Corrections v. Jordan and Chase (Fourth Circuit)Death Penalty
Unlike Missouri and Georgia, Virginia provided some, but not all, documents in response to subpoena. But they would not allow depositions of their staff for use in the Mississippi trial in Jordan v. Hall. The Virginia DOC moved to quash the subpoena issued by our clients. After briefing but without oral argument, the District Court...
Filed - February 21, 2017
Updated - March 12, 2018
Grissom v. Roberts (Tenth Circuit)Solitary Confinement
Mr. Grissom has been held in solitary confinement since 1996. In 2007, Mr. Grissom filed a pro se lawsuit, claiming that “excessive isolation”—i.e., solitary confinement—violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of procedural due process and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The district court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment. With respect to...
Filed - December 13, 2017
Updated - March 2, 2018
Williamson v. Stirling (Fourth Circuit)Solitary Confinement
Following an order from then-Governor Nikki Haley, Mr. Williamson was transferred from general population in a county jail to solitary confinement in a South Carolina prison after he engaged in misconduct while awaiting trial. Mr. Williamson was not provided notice or a hearing prior to the transfer and was not provided process during the three...
Filed - November 20, 2017
Updated - January 25, 2018
Finley v. Huss (Sixth Circuit)Solitary Confinement
Mr. Finley suffers from severe mental illness, which compels him to swallow razor blades and engage in other acts of self-harm. After he swallowed—but did not pass—a razor blade, prison officials subjected him to solitary confinement, apparently because the blade lodged in his esophagus constituted dangerous contraband. A prison psychiatrist informed corrections personnel that solitary...
Filed - July 26, 2017