U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

September 2015 Archives

Georgia executed death row inmate Kelly Gissendaner Wednesday morning, having defeated an 11th hour legal appeal that sought to spare her life. Gissendaner, who was sentenced to death for conspiring with her boyfriend to kill her husband, became Georgia's first female prisoner to be executed in 70 years.

Advocates, including Pope Francis, had argued for clemency. The Pontifex Maximus wrote a letter urging Georgia to commute her sentence and her children attended a parole board hearing to argue on her behalf, missing her execution in the process. Despite that advocacy, Gissendaner was executed soon after a last minute 1983 complaint was rejected by the Eleventh Circuit last night.

The Second Circuit broke ground in July, creating a new standard for determining when interns are actually employees entitled to the benefits of employment, like a minimum wage. In that case, the Second Circuit rejected the six part test put forward by the Department of Labor in favor of a "primary beneficiary test" where employment status is determined by whether the intern or employer is the primary beneficiary.

Now, the Eleventh Circuit has adopted the same standard the Second Circuit announced in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures. The Eleventh also offered important insight into how lower courts should apply the factors established in Glatt.

Last February, Ashley Diamond sued the Georgia Department of Corrections in federal court. A transgender woman, Diamond was housed in a men's prison, denied medical treatment, and repeatedly sexually assaulted, she alleged -- all while the state refused to take corrective action.

This Monday, she was unexpectedly granted parole. Her release comes months before her case was scheduled for review and less than three years into her 11 year sentence. Diamond's suit  shed light on the frequent neglect and abuse transgender inmates face and it quickly became a "thorn in the side of the Georgia Department of Corrections," according to The New York Times.