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Prisons & Jails – Parole – Constitutional – Ex Post Facto Law – Board Quorum (access required)

Barton v. South Carolina Department of Probation Parole & Pardon Services A change in a parole statute -- requiring a two-thirds vote of the parole board rather than a majority vote to grant parole to violent offenders -- is an unconstitutional ex post facto law as applied to petitioner, who was convicted of murder before the statutory amendment. Even under the new law, a vote in favor of parole by four of the six board members who attended petitioner’s hearing was sufficient to grant her parole.

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Prisons & Jails – Claim Mooted for Prison Visitation Denial (access required)

Williams v. Ozmint Restoration of a prison inmate’s visiting privileges has mooted his appeal of suspension of those privileges for a two-year period as a penalty for the inmate’s suspected receipt of contraband; the 4th Circuit further concludes that the prison warden who imposed the suspicion is shielded by qualified immunity because the inmate did not have a clearly established right to visitation.

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