US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Alabama inmate loses hitching post suit


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) -- A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by an inmate who was handcuffed to an outdoor hitching post at an Alabama prison in 1995 and sought monetary damages from three guards.

U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre ruled Monday that Larry Hope, who is serving a life term for rape, did not prove key elements of his case against the corrections officers.

Hope, whose 1996 suit was allowed to go to trial in a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, alleged that he had been denied water, food, a bathroom break and protection from the sun when he was handcuffed to the chest-high bars, known as hitching posts, for seven hours.

The posts were used when inmates refused to go on work details or were unruly. The practice ended in 1998 after a federal judge ruled it was unconstitutionally cruel and unusual.


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