Los Angeles, CA.  Watch this 7 minute video news update report featuring

  • Mary Tiedeman ACLU Jail Project Coordinator
  • Peter Eliasberg ACLU Managing Attorney
  • Richard I. Fine  by collect telephone call from his jail cell

On March 4, 2010 it will be one year in the L.A. County Jail for Richard I. Fine, who accused Superior Court Judge Yaffe of corruption for taking illegal payments from the L.A. County in a case involving the County of Los Angeles.   The ACLU has been called in to prevent inmate abuse by the L. A. County Jailers who are holding Fine in solitary “Coercive Confinement” in Central Men’s jail for contempt of court by order of Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe.

Having never been convicted of a crime, Richard I. Fine, a 70 year old anti-trust attorney, who holds a Ph.D in International Law, has been held without a trial and without bail and no hearing or release date.   These are circumstances in violation of U.S. Supreme Court precedent, In Re Farr (1974), where the five day limit on “coercive confinement” in civil contempt of court cases must apply.

The ACLU had previously informed Mr. Fine’s family and Full Disclosure® that they were unable to assist him. But when his upper dental plate broke on January 5, 2010 he complained to his jailers that he could not eat without them, he realized he desperately needed their help.

We called Actor Ed Asner, long known as a humanitarian and who was recently honored by the ACLU for his devotion to preserving Civil Liberties.  Mr. Asner unhesitatingly offered to call Ramona Ripston executive director of the ACLU and wife of prominent Ninth Circuit Court Judge Steven Reinhardt,  to request help for Mr. Fine. For years the ACLU has served as court appointed monitor for the L. A. County jails to prevent inmate abuse and assure attention to inmate health care complaints.

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