” … the appeals court said prison officials failed to show that Gomez had engaged in disorderly or disruptive conduct, the regulation he was punished for violating. The court said it could clear him without having to decide whether inmates have a constitutional right, under freedom of speech, to engage in hunger strikes. Gomez did not act violently or threaten violence, and none of the effects reported by prison officials — delays in some operations and services and reassignment of guards to monitor the hunger strikers — “suggests prison operations were thrown into disorder,” Justice Therese Stewart wrote in the 3-0 decision.”
- Below is the April 23, 2016 articlefrom SF Gate/San Francisco Chronicle (minus photos and video in the article)
- Court’s full decision at the bottom of the post.
State court rules prisoners can’t be punished for hunger strike
A state appeals court says a California prisoner who took part in a mass hunger strike protesting long-term solitary confinement should not have been punished for disorderly behavior because he did not disrupt prison operations or endanger anyone.
Although the 2013 hunger strike, which involved as many as 30,000 inmates across the state, may have affected the workload of prison staff members, there was no evidence of “a breakdown of order” or any threat of violence, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said in the case of a former inmate at Pelican Bay State Prison.
The ruling, issued last month, was published Friday as a precedent for…
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