I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Monday, February 1, 2010

Second Circuit on NY State Felon Disenfranchisement.

Interesting blog: Sentencing Law and Policy  


Second Circuit addresses constitutional claims in challenge to NY felon disenfranchisement

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Second Circuit has already addressed and rejected, en banc, a challenge to New York's felon disenfranchisement law based on federal statutory law.  Today, through this new panel opinion in the case now called Hayden v. Paterson, the Circuit addresses (and mostly rejects) constitutional challenges to this New York state law.  Here is a summary of the ruling from the opinion itself:
Plaintiffs-Appellants appeal from the portions of a final order and judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Lawrence M. McKenna, Judge) entered on June 14 and 16, 2004, respectively, that dismissed plaintiffs’ claims for relief under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Fifteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Because plaintiffs do not state a plausible claim of intentional discrimination and they do not state a plausible claim that New York Election Law § 5-106(2) violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, we affirm the District Court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings to defendants.  We do, however, remand to the District Court to allow plaintiffs to seek leave to amend their deficient complaint as to their intentional discrimination claim. AFFIRMED and REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Because I am not really an expert in this area, I cannot quickly assess whether this new Hayden ruling is especially noteworthy.  But, in light of the holding, this ruling is clearly not as significant as the Ninth Circuit panel ruling earlier this month that Washington state's disenfranchisement of felons violates the federal Voting Rights Act (discussed here).

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