10. Cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. Appeals Court


Larson v. Kempker, 414 F.3d 936 (8th Cir. 2005). An inmate brought a civil rights action against prison officials alleging that he was exposed to excessive cigarette smoke while he was confined. The district court awarded summary judgment in favor of the officials and the inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that evidence was insufficient to establish that the inmate was exposed to unreasonable levels of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The court noted that the inmate's expert performed no scientific tests to establish the level of ETS in the inmate's cell, and the inmate did not present any other reliable basis to estimate levels of ETS to which he was exposed, or evidence concerning how those levels of ETS would affect his future health. (Crossroads Correctional Center, Missouri)

U.S. District Court


Little v. Shelby County, Tenn., 384 F.Supp.2d 1169 (W.D.Tenn. 2005). An inmate brought a [section] 1983 action against a county and sheriff, alleging that he had been raped in jail in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. The county stipulated to liability and an order of injunctive relief was issued. Later, the district court found the county in contempt, and the county sought to purge itself of the contempt finding. The court entered a purgation order. The court held that the county and sheriff complied with the Eighth Amendment and purged themselves of contempt through the adoption of a structured reform to correct conditions that included violence, rape and gang control among inmates. In reaching its conclusion, the court considered whether officials took all reasonable steps within their power to comply with the order, which included whether they marshaled their own resources, asserted their highest authority, and demanded the results needed from subordinate persons and agencies in order to effectuate the course of action required by the order. The court praised the county, noting that it had adopted a focused, systemic and information-driven structural reform based on critical exert assessment of essential institutional functions. The county adopted a 14-point remedial scheme that included implementing direct supervision management of inmate cellblocks, improving population management, collecting and utilizing data, and installing an objective inmate classification system. (Shelby County...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT