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Wright v. Zatecky

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 15, 2016

ANTHONY WRIGHT, Petitioner,
v.
D. ZATECKY, Respondent.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Judge United States District Court

         The petition of Anthony Wright for a writ of habeas corpus challenges a prison disciplinary proceeding identified as No. ISR 14-12-0076. For the reasons explained in this Entry, Anthony Wright's habeas petition must be denied.

         Discussion

         Overview

         Prisoners in Indiana custody may not be deprived of good-time credits, Cochran v. Buss, 381 F.3d 637, 639 (7th Cir. 2004) (per curiam), or of credit-earning class, Montgomery v. Anderson, 262 F.3d 641, 644-45 (7th Cir. 2001), without due process. The due process requirement is satisfied with the issuance of advance written notice of the charges, a limited opportunity to present evidence to an impartial decision maker, a written statement articulating the reasons for the disciplinary action and the evidence justifying it, and “some evidence in the record” to support the finding of guilt. Superintendent, Mass. Corr. Inst. v. Hill, 472 U.S. 445, 454 (1985); Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 570-71 (1974); Piggie v. Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2003); Webb v. Anderson, 224 F.3d 649, 652 (7th Cir. 2000).

         I. The Disciplinary Proceeding

         On December 17, 2014, Sergeant Reed wrote a conduct report that charged Wright with possession of a weapon. The conduct report states:

On the above date and time I Sgt. J. Reed and Ofc. D. Hartle were conducting a shake down on Offender Wright, Anthony DOC# 953497. While searching the interior lip of the cell door, I confiscated a 11 inch round metal weapon. The metal weapon was confiscated and taken to the D.O. photos attached.

         On December 18, 2014, Wright was notified of the charge and served with the conduct report and the notice of disciplinary hearing “screening report.” Wright was notified of his rights, pled not guilty, and requested the appointment of a lay advocate. Wright requested a more specific witness statement from Sergeant Reed, and requested a video and photographs as physical evidence.

         The hearing officer conducted a disciplinary hearing on December 22, 2014. The hearing officer found Wright guilty of the charge of possession of a weapon.

         In making the guilty determination, the hearing officer relied on the offender's statement, staff reports, evidence from witnesses, video, and photographic evidence. The following sanctions were approved: written reprimand, a one-month loss of phone privileges, one year of disciplinary segregation, one year earned credit time deprivation, and a demotion from credit class 1 to credit class 2. The sanctions were imposed because of the seriousness of the offense, the frequency and nature of the offense, and the degree to which the violation disrupted and/or endangered the security of the facility.

         Wright's appeals through the administrative process were denied. He now seeks relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, arguing that his due process rights were violated.

         II. Analysis

         In support of his claim for habeas relief, Wright alleges the following grounds: 1) the evidence was not sufficient to support a guilty finding; 2) the video evidence does not show the correctional officers searching the door; 3) Wright was denied evidence; ...


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