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California Briefing / Santa Ana

3 men to face murder charges

February 06, 2009|Carol J. Williams

A corrections officer who deprived an inmate at High Desert State Prison of 16 meals over 23 days for covering a cell window with paper subjected the man to cruel and unusual punishment, a federal appeals court panel ruled Thursday.

Ronald Foster alleged in his civil rights suit that his 8th Amendment protections were violated when Officer Sandra Cole withheld food as punishment for his refusal to remove the paper. Warden R. L. Runnels, seeking to allow detection of porn posted on walls, had issued an order prohibiting the covering of cell windows. During a lockdown in summer 2001, Cole refused to serve Foster meals because he was violating the warden's orders.

-- Carol J. Williams

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