Chino prison guard Robert McGowan was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for violations of federal laws prohibiting a prison guard from depriving an inmate of his constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.
The conduct at issue was a 2007 incident where McGowan allegedly pushed two hand-cuffed and shackled prisoners out of a truck, causing them to suffer bruises and cuts. The push was apparently in retaliation for an earlier incident when inmates fought with prison guards in a chow hall.
At the sentencing hearing, the U.S. Attorney’s office argued that McGowan deserved a high term because he has also been accused of using methamphetamine with prisoners and smuggling in drugs for inmates at Chino. These arguments were based upon the claims made by another inmate who claimed to have seen such conduct by McGowan. However, the inmate did not testify at the sentencing hearing and, once McGowan was sentenced to 51 months in prison, he appealed the sentence.
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