Media Contact, (804) 644-8080

June 20, 2017

The ACLU of Virginia is seeking relief in the courts for a man who was unlawfully jailed for two-and-a-half months beyond what his court sentences required.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of John Louis Freeman, Sr., against the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC), DOC Director Harold Clarke, Virginia Beach Sheriff Kenneth Stolle (who runs the Virginia Beach Corrections Center), and unnamed employees of the DOC and the Virginia Beach Corrections Center.

Mr. Freeman was held a total of 77 days beyond what he should have been required to serve, constituting violations of his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process under the law.

Virginia officials failed to recognize time he had served in a Massachusetts jail for a minor infraction in 2011.

“Defendants deprived Freeman of his right against cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, with deliberate indifference, because they knew that Freeman’s sentence was over but failed to correct the problem by releasing him,” the lawsuit states.