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Judge Dismisses Corcoran Prisoner's Civil Rights Lawsuit Against 5 Guards

March 23, 2000|From Associated Press

FRESNO — A prisoner's civil rights lawsuit against five Corcoran State Prison guards has been thrown out of court by a federal judge.

Inmate Ronnie Dewberry represented himself in the case against five officers until it was dismissed late Tuesday.

Dewberry, a convicted killer from Oakland, said he was put into the now-infamous security housing unit's exercise yard at the prison with his enemies and was wounded by a gas gun fired to break up a fight in which he was involved. The gas guns, intended to be nonlethal, fire small wooden blocks.

The inmate argued his case before a civil jury, but was frustrated in his continued attempts to question correctional officers about how many times weapons were used to break up fights, if rival gang factions were placed together and how many times black inmates were shot at.

When Dewberry finished presenting his evidence and testified, state Deputy Atty. Gen. Monica N. Anderson, who represented the five officers, asked U.S. District Judge M.D. Crocker to dismiss the case.

"I just don't think the facts added up to a violation of your civil rights," the judge told Dewberry.

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