Prisoners’ first-amendment rights

by Ted Frank on June 13, 2009

Protect “a letter to [a] girlfriend [stating] that a prison officer had sex with a cat” but do not protect mailing a prosecutor “a note written on toilet paper” saying “Dear Susan, Please use this to wipe your ass, that argument was a bunch of shit! You[rs] Truly, George Morgan.” (Morgan v. Quarterman (5th Cir. 2009)). W.C., sending us the case, comments, perhaps only semi-facetiously:

(i) He said “very truly yours.” Maybe he was trying to help her. He was at least sincere.

(ii) I wouldn’t mind doing a similar stunt to opposing in a case I have currently. I too would do so from a helpful perspective. Is that so wrong?

{ 3 comments }

1 Dennis 06.14.09 at 10:14 am

Are prosecutors immune from protest letters written by their constituents? There was no threat in the letter.

2 Leland D. Davis 06.14.09 at 12:36 pm

Notice, in one case, an attorney was insulted (bad bad bad, can’t let that happen) and in another case a mere corrections officer was defamed (hey, he’s just a corrections officer, he should lump it). Sometimes, you wonder if it is the law being served, or the legal profession.

3 Tom T. 06.14.09 at 3:50 pm

I clerked for a district judge, and we one time received an envelope from a prisoner, containing partially chewed food. We just sent it back to the warden’s office.

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