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March 4, 2010

Notable Second Circuit ruling about inmate classification as a sex offender

Earlier this week, the Second Circuit issued an interesting ruling in Vega v. Lantz, No. 08-4748 (2d Cir. Mar. 2, 2010) (available here), in which the panel reverses a district court's ruling granting relief to a Connecticut inmate who complained about his designation as a sex offender based on the fact that he had been acquitted of sexual assault (though convicted of first-degree assault and kidnapping) after horribly abusing a "sixteen-year-old girl, with whom he had a sexual relationship, when he was twenty-nine-years old."  Here is how the opinion begins:

Defendants-appellants, who are prison officials, appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Dorsey, J.), granting-in-part plaintiff-appellee Joe Burgos Vega’s motion for summary judgment.  Vega, a prison inmate, sued Connecticut prison officials alleging, among other things, that they violated his liberty interests and procedural due process rights arising under the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to afford him a hearing before assigning him an inmate classification that, in his view, was tantamount to classifying him as sex offender.  The district court granted Vega summary judgment and injunctive relief on this claim and dismissed the remaining ones.  Vega v. Lantz, No. 3:03-cv- 23 2248, 2008 WL 3992651 (D. Conn. Aug. 25, 2008). For the reasons set forth below, we reverse.

March 4, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Permalink


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This animal should be incarcerated for a long, long time. I have no view on whether the court's holding is correct, but reading the facts makes me want to know the sentence he received. If it's less than 50 years, it's too short.

Posted by: DEJ | Mar 4, 2010 2:00:58 PM

i read the opinion. while he is a sick little sucker and i think she had a right to kill him the first time he touched her. This is just as criminal. He was legally aquitied of the sex charge to then come back and use the very charge they aquited him of is CRIMINAL.

Posted by: rodsmith3510 | Mar 4, 2010 7:26:28 PM

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