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Part Two: Felons Guarding Felons? Cruel and Unusual

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Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Timothy Conners ordered a alternative dispute resolution, in an attempt to end over a decade of courtroom warfare, in a lawsuit involving over 500 female inmates against the Michigan prison system. There have been jury verdicts that total almost $24 million with more lawsuits on the way.

Judge Conners stated the case "presents a significant future expense" if it were to continue. The Attorney General’s Office has stated that engaging in settlement talks would be "an exercise in futility" until after the appeal of the prior verdict, which the AG expects to win.

The AG is appealing two jury verdicts awarded to the inmates of $15.4 million and $8.45 million respectively, in February and November of last year. The AG contends that the suit was mistakenly heard as a class action and that many of the claims were too old to be heard.

One positive development this week in the case is that the AG has decided to investigate the guards accused of these heinous crimes. Even though the AG’s office cannot directly conduct the investigation due to a conflict of interest, the AG has stated that he would make sure that people are taking action on the issue.