US appeals court revives SC solitary confinement challenge

AP News
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Posted: Jul 01, 2015 6:44 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a South Carolina inmate's claim that prison officials have violated his due process rights by holding him in solitary confinement for 20 years.

In a unanimous ruling Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said evidence shows that Lumumba Incumma has never received any meaningful review of his solitary confinement, despite having no administrative infractions over the last two decades.

Incumma was placed in solitary confinement after he and other members of the Nation of Gods and Earths, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, staged a prison riot in 1995.

He also claimed that his around-the-clock segregation violated his religious rights, but the appeals court said a judge was correct in rejecting that claim.

The prison, not named in the suit, is run by the state of South Carolina.