Thaddeus Baklinski

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Inmate sues Michigan: claims ban on porn is ‘inhumane and unconstitutional’

Thaddeus Baklinski

DETROIT, July 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A man serving time in Macomb County jail for bank robbery is suing Governor Rick Snyder and the State of Michigan on the grounds that depriving him of porn while locked up is “inhumane and unconstitutional.”

In his lawsuit, filed in federal court, Kyle Richards, 21, said the state’s ban on most forms of pornography in state prisons reduces his standard of living and subjects him to “sexual and sensory deprivation.”

Richards was charged with bank robbery in January after police followed a trail of cash and snowy footprints from the scene of the alleged crime to his apartment in Fraser, Mich.

Richards pleaded guilty last week in Macomb County Circuit Court and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 2.

The Michigan Department of Corrections does allow pornographic material such as magazines and books, within certain guidelines. However, Sheriff Anthony Wickersham told the Detroit Free Press that Macomb County does not allow jail inmates to have porn or any materials that threaten jail order.

“Such living conditions have been used as a method of ‘psychological warfare’ against prisoners, in order to both destroy the morale of inmates and break the spirit of individuals,” his lawsuit charges, according to court documents.

Richards is asking that Michigan jails allow prisoners to have personal TVs, radios and digital devices that can access erotic/pornographic material.

While the Michigan branch of the American Civil Liberties Union said that if the suit is allowed to proceed the burden will fall on the jail to prove there is a legitimate reason not to allow pornographic material in the prison, Michigan ACLU Executive Director Kary Moss told The Detroit News she isn’t optimistic about Richards’ chances.

“Prisons have a lot of leeway to regulate the material that comes in and out,” Moss said.

The Detroit Free Press noted that Richards has had at least three other federal court complaints dismissed as frivolous.



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