Monday, August 20, 2012

Inmate Forced to Work For 25 Cents Per Hour Sues Jail For $11 Million

Oh, he thinks working for 25 cents an hour is akin to slavery. True story.
Finbar McGarry was a graduate student at the University of Vermont in December 2008 when he was arrested for allegedly firing a gun in his home and threatening to kill his family and an official at the university, where he had recently lost his job. His lawsuit alleges that the state violated his rights under the 13th Amendment -- which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude after the Civil War -- when he was forced to work in the laundry for minimal pay as an inmate in the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington, Vt. McGarry, who filed the $11-million lawsuit pro se, said he was forced to work three days a week for six weeks washing other inmates' laundry. He was paid a wage of 25 cents per hour and developed a bacterial infection on his neck because he was not provided sanitation in the laundry room, he told ABC News in an interview Thursday. Prison officials threatened to put McGarry "in the hole," where inmates are shackled and locked up for 23 hours per day in solitary confinement, if he refused to work, he said. McGarry was released in June 2009, and all charges against him were dropped. McGarry's anti-slavery case was thrown out in November 2009 by a federal court in Brattleboro, Vt. In his opinion, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Conroy wrote that McGarry's 13th Amendment claim was without merit because his laundry work "was nothing like the slavery that gave rise to the enactment of that amendment." But on Friday, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overruled the lower court's dismissal of the case, arguing that McGarry did not have to prove that his experience was akin those of African slaves before abolition.

source: ABC News
This man actually has a shot at winning this case. According to the Supreme Court, inmates awaiting trial have certain constitutional rights that are distinct from those of convicted inmates, because criminal convictions can justify certain punishments.

Share this post
  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Google+
  • Share to Stumble Upon
  • Share to Evernote
  • Share to Blogger
  • Share to Email
  • Share to Yahoo Messenger
  • More...


Post a Comment