Prisoners Rights

1713 WordsOct 4, 20067 Pages
A Brief History of Supreme Court Rulings Dealing with Prisoner Rights As we evolved into a more civilized society many things changed. Medicine became better; schools and education improved, and treatment of our prisoners became more humane. The constitution of our country clearly prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. No longer would captors be allowed torture that captive with iron maidens or contraptions of the like. These basic rules seem obvious to us today, but they represent the foundation of prisoner rights, the idea that even if we break the rules of our society we are still afforded basic rights that can not be taken from us. What are these rights? When did they come about? Why did they happen? In this paper…show more content…
The case was then brought to the Supreme Court, where it sided with the district court and the petitioner, Mr. Johnson. The Court ruled that if denied access to a ‘jail-house lawyer' and unable himself to file the writ, he essentially has been denied his federal right to habeas corpus. The next case that I will examine is the case of Procunier v. Martinez. This case dealt with the right of prison officials to censor inmate mail. The prisoners filed a class-action suit against The California Department of Corrections claiming that the prison had unlawfully censored mail that unduly complained, magnified grievances or expressed racial, religious or politically inflammatory content. The inmates argued that the prison had violated their first amendment right of freedom of speech. The District Court that initially ruled in the case ruled that the prison had indeed overstepped the boundaries of the Constitution. The State then appealed the District Courts ruling on the grounds that it did not have the right to rule on the Constitutionality of said statute. The Supreme Court agreed with the District Court. It decided that the lower court did not err in ruling on the legality of the mail censorship program. It further explained that by censoring personal mail between inmates and correspondents without safeguard in place, the process
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