Lifers in Love
By Paul Hammel / Omaha World-Herald
LINCOLN — The ACLU of Nebraska claims that the state is preventing two jailbirds from becoming married lovebirds.
On Tuesday, the civil rights organization filed a lawsuit against state prison officials contending that they have failed to accommodate the constitutional right to marry of two Nebraska prison inmates, Paul Gillpatrick and Niccole Wetherell.
The inmates — who are both serving time for homicide — have offered to pay the costs of transporting them to the same prison for a wedding ceremony, or to finance alternative arrangements, such as using an Internet video link to get married, according to the ACLU.
But the state turned them down, citing “legal and security” reasons…
Wetherell is serving a life sentence; Gillpatrick won’t be eligible for parole for 25 years…
The ACLU argues that state officials cannot deny the couple their right to marry simply because they are incarcerated and held in separate institutions…(Full text at Omaha World-Herald)
Surely, should the lovesick killers prevail, establishing the right to marry is unimpeded by lawful incarceration, the floodgate would open in terms of so-called gay marriages.
Which is to say, if Paul and Niccole have a right to wed in prison, why shouldn’t Paul and Nicholas? And, once married, don’t they have a right to cell up?
Paco sides with the DOC on this one–Inmates must not be permitted to wed other inmates. It is a can of worms. -