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Gary Ryan was less than three months away from getting out of prison — and his family was doing everything right. His brother-in-law lined up a job for him at his company. His nephew Corey Anderson planned to give him his old truck. Anderson also fixed up a house on a family property where his uncle could live.
James L. Box Huntsville, Texas You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter of the Government Code.
Your four requests were ased ID s,and The Texas Department of Criminal Justice the "department" received four requests for similar information. The broadest of the four requests is for:. Any videotape created by the TDCJ, or any agents of the same, of inmate Gary Graham, including any forced cell moves, cell extractions, or during transport from any facility within TDCJ.
Please include any videotape of his transfer to the gurney in the execution room prior to his execution, and any videotape taken during said execution. Documents detailing the forced cell move, or prison extraction of any inmate since January 1, Documents detailing any internal investigation of any forced cell move, or prison extraction of any inmate since January 1, You state that the department does not have videotaped recordings of any execution procedures.
You also state that the information that is responsive to the request for "shift reports and officers' logs" consists of "'Death Watch Log' sheets" which you explain "are available to the public through the TDCJ Public Information Office," and which we therefore assume you intend to release to the appropriate requestor.
Three texas inmates have died at the hands of prison officers as use of force continues to rise
We have considered the exceptions you claim and reviewed the submitted information, some of which has been submitted as a representative sample of information at issue. We begin with the submitted information that pertains to Gary Graham.
Section You claim that the information in question is excepted from disclosure under section EstelleF. The Stipulated Modification of the Amended Decree in the Ruiz case restricted the dissemination of "sensitive information" regarding inmates. See Open Records Decision No. However, the final judgment in Ruizentered on December 11,gave the Texas Board of Criminal Justice the "board" authority to define the term "sensitive information.
How correctional officers can improve use of force reports
Notwithstanding Section Therefore, basic information about a use of force or an alleged crime involving an inmate is not excepted from disclosure under section The submitted videotapes and documentation regarding Gary Graham pertain to incidents involving the use of force against a death row inmate. Therefore, under section Basic information that is subject to disclosure under section We find that the submitted videotapes regarding Gary Graham do not contain such basic information. Therefore, the department must withhold these submitted videotapes in their entirety under section However, the submitted reports do contain basic information about uses of force under section Therefore, while the department must withhold most of these submitted reports under section One of the requestors has submitted an argument to this office, claiming that because Gary Graham has been executed and because this requestor is not a department inmate, the final order in Ruiz does not or should not have application to these requested materials.
As explained above, the board has the authority under Ruiz to define "sensitive information. Therefore, section We turn now to the remaining submitted information: the videotape and documentation regarding a use of force incident involving a different inmate.
To the extent that this submitted information represents similar information involving inmates sentenced to death, the information is subject to the analysis explained above. However, to the extent that this submitted information represents similar information involving inmates use sentenced to death, such information invokes section As explained above, section The submitted materials in question pertain to an incident involving the use of force against a department inmate.
To the extent this information pertains to and represents use of Tdcj incidents involving inmates not sentenced to death, the department must generally withhold this submitted information under section However, the department must release basic information regarding this incident pursuant to section We video that this submitted videotape does not contain basic information and must therefore be withheld in its entirety under section However, the corresponding report does contain basic information about a use of force under section Therefore, while the department must withhold most of this submitted report under section In conclusion, the department must withhold the submitted videotapes regarding Gary Graham under section Also under section However, the department must release the basic information about the uses of force reported in these documents under section In regard to the requested information regarding other department inmates, the department must withhold the requested videotapes under section As to the requested documentation regarding other inmates, the department must generally withhold use of force reports under section This ruling triggers important deadlines regarding the rights and forces of the governmental body and of the requestor.
Use of force against inmates on the rise
For example, governmental bodies are prohibited from asking the attorney general to reconsider this ruling. If the governmental body wants to challenge this ruling, the governmental body must appeal by filing suit in Travis County within 30 calendar days. In order to get the full benefit of such an appeal, the governmental body must file suit within 10 calendar days. If the governmental body does not appeal this ruling and the governmental body does not comply with it, then both the requestor and the attorney general have the right to file suit against the governmental body to enforce this ruling.
If this ruling requires the governmental body to release all or part of the requested information, the governmental body is responsible for taking the next step. Based on the statute, the attorney general expects that, within 10 calendar days of this ruling, the governmental body will do one of the following three things: 1 release the public records; 2 notify the requestor of the exact day, time, and place that copies of the records will be provided or that the records can be inspected; or 3 notify the requestor of the governmental body's intent to challenge this letter ruling in court.
Tdcj use of force steps
The requestor may also file a complaint with the district or county attorney. If this ruling requires or permits the governmental body to withhold all or some of the requested information, the requestor can appeal that decision by suing the governmental body. GilbreathS. Please remember that under the Act the release of information triggers certain procedures for costs and charges to the requestor. If records are released in compliance with this ruling, be sure that all charges for the information are at or below the legal amounts.
If the governmental body, the requestor, or any other person has questions or comments about this ruling, they may contact our office.
Correctional institutions division
Although there is no statutory deadline for contacting us, the attorney general prefers to receive any comments within 10 calendar days of the date of this ruling. Richard H. Initially, this request also included "texts of any memoranda or notes of telephone conversations or correspondence with state officials during the same period. If you have not already released the Death Watch Log to the requestor who asked for this type of information, you must do so at this time.
You have submitted three videotape recordings of use of force incidents involving Gary Graham, documentation of two of these incidents, and documentation regarding an additional incident involving Gary Graham.
We understand this submitted information to be responsive to all four requests for information. You have also submitted one videotape recording of a use of force incident involving another inmate as well as documentation of this incident. We understand this submitted information regarding the other inmate to be a representative sample of request items 2, 4, and 5 of the first request for information quoted above.
We assume that the "representative sample" of records submitted to this office is truly representative of all of the information at issue. See Open Records Decision Nos. This open records letter does not reach and, therefore, does not authorize the withholding of any other requested records to the extent that those records contain substantially different types of information from those submitted to this office.
We note that the department has redacted the names of employees involved from one of the submitted use of force reports.
Texas prisoner killed in use-of-force incident was punched repeatedly in back of head by guards
As explained above, these names must be released under section We note that the basic information that is subject to public disclosure under section City of HoustonS. September 12, Mr. Hall: You ask whether certain information is subject to required public disclosure under chapter of the Government Code. The broadest of the four requests is for: 1. The other three requests concern: 1. Lucius Lomax P. Because sections