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Appeals court reinstates prison visiting privilege


The Associated Press


JACKSON -- An appeals court has reinstated visitation privileges for the wife of a Mississippi inmate who was prohibited from visiting after a wedding ring was found in her pocket. 


Court records say Saskia Carpenter was permanently suspended from visiting her husband, Anthony Carpenter, at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in 2011 for having his wedding ring in her pocket. 


The Carpenters sued in Sunflower County Circuit Court, which sided with the prison. The Carpenters appealed. 


The Mississippi Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the prison superintendent, E.L. Sparkman, abused his discretion. 


The court said a "wedding band does not fall within the category of any listed contraband group." 


Also, the court said the ban effectively prohibited the couple's minor daughter from visiting her father. 


The court record says Saskia Carpenter had routinely visited her husband at a previous facility -- before his transfer to Parchman -- and sometimes took his wedding band to have it cleaned. 


The court record says she was stopped on her first visit to Parchman and that's when the ring was discovered in her pocket.




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