- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A 107-year-old state law prohibiting inmates serving life sentences in Rhode Island from getting married has been upheld by a federal court judge.

The Providence Journal reports (https://bit.ly/2dPBAEp ) Judge Mary Lisi ruled Wednesday that the federal court has no authority to invalidate Rhode Island’s “civilly dead” law.

The law states that inmates given life sentences for their crimes should be considered “dead in all respects, as if his or her natural death had taken place at the time of conviction.”

Convicted murderer Cody-Allen Zab challenged the constitutionality of the law in a federal lawsuit filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a New York statute similarly barring inmates serving life sentences from marrying in 1974. Lisi concluded the 1974 decision prevails.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, https://www.providencejournal.com


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