Darnell Wilson was convicted of grand larceny, felony fleeing, and simple assault against a law enforcement officer after he stole bras from a local department store. Wilson reportedly said the stolen clothes, including bras, were going to be used for his job as a “transvestite prostitute” in Memphis, Tennessee. Wilson has a long criminal history, including 18 arrests involving charges for aggravated robbery, kidnapping, and sexual battery in Tennessee. The state trial court sentenced Wilson as a habitual offender to three concurrent sentences of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC). This ruling was affirmed on appeal.
Wilson then sued the Commissioner of MDOC and others for violations of his constitutional rights. Among these allegations were that his uniform and linens had not been changed often enough, that he received a haircut against his will that was administered with unsterilized scissors, and that he was exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke emitted by his fellow prisoners. The complaint also alleged that Wilson had filed ten formal grievances with the prison between July 23 and August 15, 2010, that he had received no response to these grievances, and that the 90–day period within which the prison could process a grievance was too long.
The federal trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected his lawsuit.