A prisoner who decides not to ensure prompt medical care for a prisoner with a broken arm and partially severed tendon is entitled to immunity and cannot be prosecuted for the incident, a federal court ruled last week.
The theory of competent immunity requires that, in order for some government actors to be held accountable in civil court, the plaintiff must deliver a previous court judgment where the exact abuse they are alleging has already been clearly unconstitutionally ruled out. If they are not able to do so, state officials – from police to prison guards to college administrators – are sometimes able to infringe on your constitutional rights without any resources.
This is a criterion that requires adherence to the myopic detail. Here, there were several reasons to separate the charges from previous court decisions, including the location of the injury and the amount of bleeding.
In October 2011, Charles Wade, then a prisoner from the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, was hit in the arm and taken a 10-minute walk from Captain Gordon Lewis’ kitchen to a holding cell. Wade said that during that walk, he had “blood everywhere” and “a path of blood,” but his requests to go to the infirmary were ignored. He spent hours in the holding cell before receiving any attention from the prison nurse. Her injuries eventually worsened: although she made a request for help after her hand became swollen, staff did not pay attention to her until a day later when she handed the flag to an officer and told a nurse that her pain was being registered as ten out of ten. Eventually he needed treatment outside the prison.
In providing Lewis with qualified immunity, the 11th Circuit differed somewhat from the previous case law. “Inside [a prior ruling], The plaintiff hit his head, “Judge Elizabeth L. in the case” blood soaked [on] Her dress [and] Pulled to the floor. The plaintiff’s position is also different: Wade was in a holding cell, sitting three feet away from the infirmary, where the plaintiff in the previous instance was in a hospital.
“On the one hand, it seems to be a suitable garden-diversified disease-fighting resilience,” said Clark Neely, vice president of legal research at the Kato Institute. “On the other hand, it underscores one of the most damaging aspects of a competent immunity defense, which is to accept cases where reasonable persons can clearly disagree with the guilt of a public defendant and ensure that those disagreements do not sit idly by.” As a jury of Anglo-American general law কিন্তু but instead by a bunch of government employees who inappropriately stepped down from the position of public prosecutor and other courtroom advocates. “
But whether Louis Wade violated his rights is still a matter of debate, and unfortunately it will remain so, as the 11th Circuit has decided not to rule on it for subsequent defendants. We have been told that victims of government abuse must find the perfect court decision to hold the state accountable, yet federal courts often refuse to set that precedent.
It is “completely possible” to do harm Was not Appropriate, Nili adds. The story isn’t exactly sympathetic: Wade says he was hurt by opening a can of vegetables; Others objected because he had previously punched another prisoner in the face. But should such a decision be with the jury? “The founders were committed to the proposal that disputes between citizens and the government – citizens or criminals – should be resolved by ordinary citizens in general, not official mandarins,” Neely said. “Qualified immunity represents a cruel act of rejecting that ancient knowledge and formulating judicial policy.”
There are several examples of rogue prison guards getting the immunity they deserve. There was a team of correctional officers who got protection after trapping a naked prisoner in two cells at intervals of several days: one covering the walls with “massive” human feces, and the other in another case of drainage with sewage from a locked floor, a guard pepper. Scattered a prisoner, for no reason at all.
The Supreme Court, which has enacted immunity worthy of existence, has been reluctant to fundamentally reconsider the doctrine as a whole. But in two highly unusual moves, it reversed both of the above cases over the past few months, leaving victims with their cases where the founders wanted them: before a jury.