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ACLU files suit over denial of prisoner’s request to pray in group

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana announced Monday that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a prisoner who practices the African Hebrew Israelite religion because the Pendleton Correctional Facility won’t allow the religious group to congregate for prayer unless a volunteer is present.

“The DOC does not have the right to deny prisoners an intrinsic element of their religious beliefs,” said ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk. “Federal law protects people from substantial burdens on their religious free exercise, and the equal protection clause guarantees that laws will be applied equally.”

The lawsuit, Paul Veal v. Commissioner, Indiana Department of Correction, et al., 1:13-CV-1167, alleges that the facility, run by the Department of Correction, is in violation of the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The ACLU of Indiana says the facility doesn’t require volunteers to be present for other religious groups to congregate. The suit was filed in the Indianapolis Division of the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Indiana.
 

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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