High Court reviewing solitary confinement appeal
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Supreme Court is reviewing the appeal of a convicted murderer who a lower court found had wrongly spent nearly two years in solitary confinement.
44-year-old Douglas Burr is serving 59 years in prison.
He was found guilty of murdering a man in Bradley in 1996.
In 2019, the Kennebec County Superior Court ruled a 22-month span Burr spent in solitary confinement violated his civil rights, according to court documents.
However, in that same ruling, the court determined it lacked the authority to make policy changes at the Maine State Prison.
“Justice Murphy found no prisoner in the plaintiff’s position could know what it was he or she had to do to leave the highly restrictive confinement opposed upon on him given the processes in place at the prison during the time of pertinent to this case," Defense Lawyer, Eric Mehnert, said.
“Plaintiff named individual defendants in their official capacities only and in no uncertain terms sought solely broad injunctive relief specifically that the Superior Court direct department policymaking on restrictive housing." Assistant Attorney General, Jason Anton, said.
No word on when the court will make a decision on the matter.
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