A mentally ill prisoner with brain damage killed himself after spending months in solitary confinement over nonviolent infractions, like having a tattoo. He was 19.

Qualified immunity for the guard who violated policy by putting him in solitary without asking mental health staff
It is not "clearly established" that putting severely mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement constitutes deliberate indifference, even when the guard disregards policy to do so.

And the court declined to establish any law for the next time this happens. Because of course.
He was kept in his cell for 24 hours a day, with the exception of every other day when he was let out for one hour to shower.

One hour.
Prisoners are people too. reason.com/2021/10/21/ken…

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More from @billybinion

28 Oct
There is so much to unpack here. Cops arrested a homeless veteran with PTSD for *panhandling*. And they tased his service dog, which got hit by a car & died.

Let's talk about overcriminalization & the unconstitutional war on charity.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/10/28/cop…
First things first: Let it sink in that *several* police officers thought it a wise use of resources to confront & lock up someone for the crime of begging for money.

Feel any safer yet?
The man is named Joshua Rohrer, & police arrived after a Karen called 911 and reported him for "using his dog to get money."

He got that dog for his PTSD, which he developed after serving a tour overseas in the Army.
Read 7 tweets
27 Oct
Conservatives—& anyone who cares about limited government—should be first in line to reform qualified immunity. But there are so many misconceptions about how it works.

This @TomCottonAR op-ed on the subject is replete with misinformation. A thread.
Misconception #1: Qualified immunity is "essential to effective policing."

QI allows gov't officials to violate your rights with little fear of liability in civil court. To say it's essential is to say that cops need to be able to violate your rights to do their jobs. /2
Misconception #2: Qualified immunity protects good cops & punishes bad ones.

I've covered more cases than I can count of bad cops getting QI: ones who shot kids, set people on fire, committed theft, & beat people up. I outlined a bunch for @Newsweek. /3 newsweek.com/its-time-get-r…
Read 13 tweets
26 Oct
This is the stuff of nightmares. Raquel Esquivel spent 11 years in prison on a drug charge. She was released amid COVID & got pregnant.

Now, she's been separated from her baby & sent back to prison—because of a clerical error.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/10/26/raq…
Esquivel should be the poster child for prison reform. She got 15 years for a drug offense. She had an exemplary record on home confinement.

...And she was taken back to prison because the halfway house forgot to log one of her check-in calls. Absurd. reason.com/2021/10/26/raq…
Thousands of prisoners were put on home confinement during COVID. Esquivel's story speaks to the success of that program.

It also speaks to the utter incompetence of our prison bureaucracy. The state forgot to log a phone call. She pays with her freedom.
Read 6 tweets
18 Oct
Decades ago, the Supreme Court legislated qualified immunity into existence. And today, they dealt a major blow to anyone who was hoping for reform.

I wrote about why that matters. 🧵
Qualified immunity allows state actors to violate your rights if the *exact* way in which they do so has not been ruled unconstitutional in a prior court ruling.

It's shielded cops who shot kids, stole huge sums of $$, & destroyed property. List goes on.
The idea behind qualified immunity is that no reasonable cop can be expected to know when they cross a constitutional line, unless there's an identical precedent outlining that misbehavior.

How on earth can we expect cops to know stealing is wrong??? reason.com/2021/10/18/sup…
Read 9 tweets
13 Oct
A warden allegedly raped his cousin-in-law multiple times on prison grounds. A corrupt prosecutor worked to cover it up.

And the victim can't do anything about it. Here's a story on the type of gov't abuse that so often goes unnoticed.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/10/13/lou…
Priscilla Lefebure says she was raped multiple times by Barrett Boeker, an assistant warden at Louisiana State Penitentiary. Boeker was arrested after a medical exam corroborated an assault.

But he was mysteriously never indicted. reason.com/2021/10/13/lou…
Here's where it gets even more infuriating, if that were possible.

The local DA, Samuel D'Aquilla, allegedly refused to examine her rape kit. He refused to meet her to discuss the case. And he refused to call any witnesses who could corroborate her story. reason.com/2021/10/13/lou…
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
Matthew Shepard's death was tragic. It's also very unlikely that his murder had anything to do with the fact that he was part of the LGBTQ community.

Telling the correct version of history is vital, even when it might be inconvenient for your cause. A thread.
Shepard died a gruesome death: tied to a fence & set on fire. A narrative quickly formed that he had been targeted because he was gay.

But later reporting would suggest that at least 1 of his murderers also slept with men, & that they actually had beef with Shepard over drugs. ImageImage
Shepard's death in 1998 created a kind of perfect storm. Wyoming, where he lived, had just failed to pass a hate crime law. The media immediately drew that connection.

And they've run with it ever since. Please read this by @ENBrown reason.com/2021/09/19/do-… ImageImage
Read 7 tweets

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