By the end of this year, California must release 9,600 prisoners from the nation’s largest correctional system, because the Supreme Court says overcrowding makes it impossible to provide adequate healthcare for inmates.
Failing to do so constitutes cruel and unusual punishment - a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Virginia’s prisons are also crowded and facing a lawsuit over medical care that will be heard this spring, but on other reasons for change in the Commonwealth’s correctional centers.
A federal judge has denied a request by former Governor Bob McDonnell’s defense attorneys to limit the prosecution’s involvement in a separate, CIVIL case filed by shareholders of Star Scientific.
McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, have pleaded “not guilty” to federal charges of improperly promoting the company’s dietary supplement in exchange for gifts from its former CEO, Jonnie Williams … and they maintain that the civil case is relevant.
A Virginia lawyer is on his way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the right of a man to grow a beard. Seven states will be watching that case closely.
Gregory Holt is serving a life sentence for burglary and domestic battery in Arkansas – one of seven states that bar prisoners from growing a beard. His lawyer says that’s a problem, because Holt is a Muslim.
Douglas Laycock, a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Virginia. He says Holt got all the way to the Supreme Court without the help of a lawyer: