— Religion. In 1998, a group of inmates sued for the right to practice Asatru, or the ancient Norse religion. Inmates argued they were denied rights given to Christian, Jewish and Muslim prisoners, among others, while the state alleged white gangs were using the religion as a cover for banned Aryan nation activities. A 2010 settlement covered everything from the size of a permissible "Thor's Hammer Medallion" to the number of tiles allowed in an inmate's "Rune Stone Set." That set cannot include tiles with the swastika.
— Medical care. A 2003 lawsuit alleged inadequate health care for inmates, with a report finding almost no care for inmates with HIV, and most inmates receiving only brief, perfunctory doctor visits. Under a 2005 settlement, the prisons department agreed to hire about 20 doctors and increase its medical staff by 50 percent, or about 300 new employees.
— Capital punishment. Legal issues surrounding executions included the elimination of the electric chair as an option; the change from a three-drug protocol to a single drug, sodium thiopental; the switch to pentobarbital as supplies of sodium thiopental dwindled; and training for executioners. One of Trout's last actions was announcing the agency might seek legislative approval to buy a form of pentobarbital mixed a dose at a time by specially licensed pharmacies.
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