Nobody Is Above the Law – DOJ Issues Several Correction-Related Sentences

Inmates civil rights took center stage in three recent Department of Justice (DOJ) sentences. In the most recent case, four former corrections officers at the Jackson County Detention Center in Kansas City, Missouri, have been sentenced to terms of imprisonment for their roles in violating the constitutional rights of an inmate by beating an inmate without any legal justification.

“Nobody is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison of the Western District of Missouri. “These former corrections officers abused their authority and violated the civil rights of an inmate by physically assaulting him while he was restrained and not posing any threat.” To learn more about this case, click here.

In a somewhat similar case (see more about the incident here), four former supervisory correctional officers at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana were sentenced in early July, for their roles in assaulting an inmate who was handcuffed, shackled, and not resisting, and for conspiring to cover up their misconduct by devising a false cover story, submitting false reports documenting that cover story, tampering with witnesses, and lying under oath.

Finally, a federal grand jury in Honolulu, Hawaii, returned a six-count indictment against three former correctional officers for their roles in assaulting an inmate housed at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center and for attempting to cover up their misconduct. The indictment alleges that, on June 15, 2015, defendants, along with a fourth correctional officer designated “Officer A,” physically assaulted an inmate in the jail’s recreation yard that resulted in bodily injury.

The indictment further alleges that the defendants and Officer A conspired to cover up their misconduct by engaging in a variety of obstructive acts, including devising a false cover story to justify their use of force, documenting that false cover story in official reports, and repeating that false cover story when questioned during the ensuing investigation and disciplinary proceedings arising out of the assault. The maximum penalties for the charged crimes are 10 years of imprisonment for each of the deprivation-of-rights offenses, 20 years of imprisonment for each of the false report offenses, and 5 years of imprisonment for the conspiracy offense. More information on the indictment can be found here.

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