Inmate will have trial over 13 years of isolation

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) -- A federal appeals court granted a trial last Thursday to a Michigan prisoner with a history of escape who claims he spent 13 years in a segregated cell without a fair opportunity to join other inmates.

Charles Selby, a convicted killer from Jackson County, can take the state Corrections Department to trial over whether it violated his due process rights, the appeals court said in a 3-0 decision that overturned a ruling by a federal judge in Marquette.

"Selby may be able to show that a reasonable prison official should have known that he could not be confined in administrative segregation" for unjust reasons, the appeals court wrote.

Selby says he was locked in his cell at least 23 hours a day and even locked in a cage when he was allowed outdoors. He was finally moved to the general prison population in 2011, nearly two years after filing his lawsuit.

In 1999, Selby escaped from a state prison in Washtenaw County through a hole in a fence. He was captured five days later. In 2001, Selby was caught after fleeing from a van that was transporting him to a hospital. He was then transferred to a prison in Marquette in the Upper Peninsula in 2001.

In a court filing, the state said Selby's segregation in prison was regularly reviewed by officials. He had a handful of misconducts over the years, including possession of contraband and a homemade weapon.

Officials "presented some evidence justifying Selby's continued administrative segregation," the state said.

Published: Mon, Nov 4, 2013

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