Murderers Sue Prison Because of Ban on Pornography
Inmates in Indiana are suing prison officials because of a policy that prevents inmates from receiving girlie magazines.
A lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by two convicted murderers who say their civil rights are being abused. The ban went into effect on July 1, and bars any printed material that contains nudity or sexual content from being delivered to prison inmates.
Their complaint argues that the ban on sexual content is too broad and will apply to much more than just magazines such as Playboy, Easy Rider, and Hustler. The American Civil Liberties Union said that magazines such as National Geographic could also be banned under the policy, as well as private sexually explicit letters.
Ernest Tope, 53, is an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility who is serving a life sentence for murder, and the other plaintiff, Wade Meisberger, 34, is being held at the Miami Correctional Facility after being convicted of murder and auto theft. The two are suing the Indiana Department of Correction on behalf of more than 20,000 state prisoners, saying that the ban violates their civil rights. Tope previously sued the Indiana prison system last year for violating prisoner’s civil rights during lockdowns, saying that confining prisoners to 12’ x 8’ cells with no privacy curtains around the toilet constituted cruel and unusual punishment.
Lawyers for the two murderers claim that the prison’s ban on sexually explicit material is so encompassing that it may keep inmates from receiving intimate letters from loved ones or even some great works of art and literature. Naturally they only want Playboy for the articles anyway, so the ban interferes with their right to read great literature.