Fall 2009 Citation Relay Passage
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Fall 2009 Citation Relay Passage

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To accompany the Fall 2009 Citation Relay PowerPoint presentation.

To accompany the Fall 2009 Citation Relay PowerPoint presentation.

Presented by Bob Brain and Selina Farrell at 2010 LWI Conference in Marco Island, FL.

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Fall 2009 Citation Relay Passage Fall 2009 Citation Relay Passage Document Transcript

  • The United States Constitution protects prison inmates from<br />the infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments.” Fourth <br />(1)<br />Amend., United States Const’n. The Eighth Amendment is violated<br />(2)<br />when a prison corrections officer imposes “. . . unnecessary and <br />wanton infliction of pain.” Whitley V. Albers, Jr., 475 United <br />States Rpts. 312,320 (U.S. 1986). The question of whether <br />unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain occurs during <br />officers’ attempts to calm a prison disturbance<br />depends on whether “force was applied in a good faith effort to <br />maintain or restore discipline or maliciously and <br /> (3)<br />sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm.” Id at 320-<br />321 <br />The United States Supreme Court developed the Whitley <br />test, based on its analysis in Whitley, to assess whether force <br />(4)<br />was used in bad faith. see id at 321; see, also, Virginia v. <br />Thomson, 475 Southeast. R. 732, 735,738 (VA 1998)(applying the <br />Whitley test). This test considers five factors: (1) the extent <br />of the injury inflicted; (2) the need for the application of <br />force; (3) the relationship between the need and the amount of <br />force that was used; (4) the extent of the threat to the safety <br />of staff and inmates, as reasonably perceived by the responsible <br />officers on the basis of the facts known to them; and (5) any <br /> (5)<br />efforts to temper the severity of a forceful response. Id at <br />321. <br />The totality of the circumstances shows that Brian Wilson’s <br />Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual <br />punishment was violated. Thus, the district court erred in <br />granting summary judgment in favor of Officer Ragosa on the <br />grounds of qualified immunity, and the order should be reversed.<br />Ragosa inflicted serious injuries on Wilson, which fulfills the <br />objective component of an Eighth Amendment excessive force <br />violation. See Hudson v. McMillian, 503 US 1,7-8 (U.S. 1992); <br /> (6)<br />Atkins v. B.J. Michaels, 473 Fed.Rptr. 3rd 1207, 1211-213 (en <br />banc)(Ninth Circ. 2008). The United States Supreme Court <br />deemphasizes this component because contemporary standards of <br />`(7)<br />decency can be violated without serious injury. see id at 8-9. <br />As a result, the objective component is merged with the extent <br /> (8)<br />of injury factor. see id at 7.<br />