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Judge rules for state in inmate lawsuit over Playboy

DOVER, Del. — A federal judge says a former Delaware death row inmate can’t get back a Playboy magazine that was seized from him.

Robert Gattis claimed in a 2008 lawsuit that officials violated his constitutional rights and prison policy by seizing a Playboy magazine he had ordered.

The judge ruled Tuesday that Gattis had no legitimate claim because he lost both an internal prison appeal as well as a court complaint seeking return of the magazine or its $6.99 face value. The judge said the fact that officials did not keep the magazine for a specified time period did not violate Gattis’ constitutional rights.

Gov. Jack Markell commuted Gattis’ death sentence to life without parole in January. In return, Gattis agreed to waive all further legal challenges related to his murder conviction.