United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Gosha's petition for a writ of habeas corpus challenges
his conviction in a prison disciplinary proceeding identified
as No. WVS 17-04-0004. For the reasons explained in this
entry, Mr. Gosha's habeas petition must be
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).
The Disciplinary Proceeding
Gosha's disciplinary proceeding arises from allegations
that, on April 12, 2017, he collected two cups of feces in
his own cell, reached them through his cell's “cuff
port, ” and threw the feces through the open cell door
of his neighbor, Cameron Mayfield.
April 18, 2017, Lieutenant Gary McMillin prepared a conduct
On 4/18/17 I Lt. McMillin received a note stating that on
4/12/17 an offender had thrown feces into a cell from his
cuff port. Upon reviewing the video I seen Offender Gosha,
Todd 167028 cell B East 305 stick his arm out of his cuff
port (305) and throw 2 cups of feces into cell 304, while the
offender's door was open for work detail. The video
review was on camera SCU B-Ease B3E and B-3 Dayroom. Times at
6:48:27pm to 6:48:54pm.
Dkt. No. 9-1. On the same date, Mr. Gosha was charged with
violating § 106 of the Indiana Department of Correction
(IDOC) disciplinary code, “Possession of
Dangerous/Deadly Contraband/Property.” Dkt. No. 9-3.
Gosha collected statements from three correctional officers
and presented them at his hearing. Officer R. Campbell stated
that, although he was working nearby, he did not see Mr.
Gosha throw feces into Mr. Mayfield's cell and that Mr.
Mayfield had not informed him of the incident. Dkt. No. 9-6.
Officer K. Hasler stated that, around 8:30 P.M. on April 12,
Mr. Mayfield called Officer Hasler to his cell and accused
Mr. Gosha of throwing feces into the cell. Dkt. No. 9-7.
Officer Hasler's statement indicates that he could not
see or smell feces in the cell at that time. Id.
Officer Reed stated that, around 6:30 A.M. on April 13, Mr.
Mayfield requested clean clothes and bedding because Mr.
Gosha had thrown feces into his cell. Dkt. No. 9-8. Officer
Reed also stated that he did not see or smell feces on the
range or in the laundry barrel near Mr. Mayfield's cell.
April 25, 2017, Mr. Gosha was found guilty following a
hearing. Dkt. No. 9-5. The hearing officer indicated that he
reached his decision after considering the conduct report,
staff reports, Mr. Gosha's statement in his own defense,
witness statements, and Mr. Mayfield's note originally
reporting the incident. Id. The hearing officer
imposed sanctions including a written reprimand, 36 days'
lost phone privileges, three months in disciplinary
restrictive housing, 63 days' lost good-time credit, and
a one-step demotion in credit class. Id.
Gosha appealed the hearing officer's decision to the
warden and to the IDOC's final reviewing authority
without success. Dkt. Nos. 9-9, 9-10. After reconsidering the
appeal, however, the final reviewing authority reduced the
charge to § 228, “Possession of Altered
Property.” The final reviewing authority reasoned that
Mr. Gosha “possessed and modified use of a drinking cup
to hold and throw feces (modifying the intended use of the
drinking cup for the purpose of using it as a weapon).”
Dkt. No. 9-11. Mr. Gosha's sanctions were not adjusted.
Gosha raises two challenges to his conviction, and both
concern the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his
conviction. First, Mr. Gosha asserts that he was convicted
based solely on Mr. Mayfield's allegations. Dkt. No. 2 at
3. Second, he argues that “Screening Officer S.
McMillin did not take my witness statements into
consideration when he found me guilty.” Dkt. No. 2 at
3. The Court construes this as ...