by Julian Heicklen
May 25, 2001
Correction Officer (CO) Brian Knight filed a Misconduct Report 934480 against inmate Curtis Brandon DV—2954 stating that on July 13, 2000, CO Abrams heard Mr. Brandon say "That this was the best thing that happened all summer." CO Knight said that Mr. Brandon was referring to the incident where a CO was assaulted.
According to the Hearing Examiner's (M. Matthews) report of July 21, 2000, Mr. Brandon admits to making the statement, but vehemently denied that it referred to the assault. He claims that he was referring to a newspaper article that reported that Venus Williams won the tennis match at Wimbledon.
The hearing examiner stated in the report that he would dismiss the charge if the standard for conviction was preponderance of evidence. However, since the standard is some evidence, and that it was reasonable for CO Abrams to conclude that Brandon was referring to the assault, the verdict is guilty.
Aside from the lack of proof, what is upseting about this verdict is that Mr. Brandon's opinion, even if it referred to the assault, was an offense.