Ste. Genevieve Detainee Sues to Defend First Amendment Rights

Affiliate: ACLU of Missouri
January 4, 2013 3:33 pm

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO — The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri filed a suit Wednesday on behalf of Stanley Schell, a detainee at the Sainte Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center. Schell had a prepaid subscription to the Ste. Genevieve Herald and received his copy every Wednesday for several months, until Nov. 7. This was exactly one week after his letter to the editor of that paper was published. When Schell inquired about his missing paper, he was informed that the sheriff was no longer allowing local newspapers into the jail.

“It’s clear that the sheriff punished Mr. Schell for writing his letter by withholding the publication. This infringes on free speech and is unconstitutional,” says Brenda L. Jones, executive director of the ACLU-EM. “It is also a due process violation to deprive Schell and other inmates of their local newspapers without providing senders and recipients notice and an opportunity to challenge the censorship,” adds Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU-EM.

A copy of the complaint can be found on the ACLU-EM website.

The ACLU-EM is a non-partisan, not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of civil liberties in eastern Missouri. Located in St. Louis, the ACLU-EM is an affiliate of the national ACLU.

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