In the case of Hope vs Pelzer there was inconsiderate interventions made in the treatment of a prison inmate by prison guards who treated the inmate inhumanely as he was subjected to a variety of conditions that subsequentially led to the case. The case in point involves the treatment shown to Larry Hope and the violation of the Eighth Amendment rights. The main facts of the case include that he was handcuffed to a hitching post, additionally other case facts include the facts that he was placed in leg irons after tussling with prison officers and later chained again to a hitching post as stated by Salaam (2002). Removing his shirt and leaving him in the scorching sun burned his skin. To add salt to injury, Hope remained shirtless for up to seven hours as he was left dehydrated for the better part of the day only receiving water twice a day.
Decisions made by the officers were very inappropriate to the case in point as earlier precedents had been made in violation of prisoners’ rights. The rights of prisoners were mandatorily expected to be upheld. Cases held before had asserted that it was unnecessary for prisoners to be held and handcuffed on hitching posts for long periods. Administering of punishments for misconducts carried out in the past was unnecessary for some instances like use of hitching posts and cells while forcing inmates to remain standing for long periods of time to fences and cells for extended periods. Decision made by the court ruled that the Eighth amendment rights were violated especially through the reasonability of putting the plaintiff on hutching posts as there was no valid reason to subject him to such inhumane conditions as indicated by Salaam (2002). There was obvious cruelty when Hope was left in the scorching sun that burned his body. Hope was treated in a manner that was deleterious to his Eighth Amendment rights. The inherent cruelty that was made against the plaintiff and the officers acted without due diligence to his rights. The punishment was not carried out as a matter of necessity but it was an act of punishment. Fair and clear warnings had earlier been provided against use of such methods to inflict punishment. The case facts and decisions made by the courts was clear as this made the defendants liable to a cause of action.
The practices carried out by court was correct and validated as the actions were in compliance with case precedents and jurisdictions. Decisions taken by the law enforcement officers were unnecessary an inflicted pain and inhumane treatment as indicated by Salaam (2002). Such actions are inappropriate in this case section as this course of action is untenable and unacceptable while it is also a violation of the Eighth Amendment Rights. Scorching the plaintiff was profoundly inappropriate due to the effects on the body of the plaintiff.
The prison punishment was inhumane and there needs to be alternative methods through which punishments can be meted out to individuals. As is in the case of Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 102 S.Ct. 2727 (1982) there needs to be preservation of the constitutional rights afforded to individuals. Alternatives solutions should be provided to deal with the situation in handling of activities that warrant the use of punishments when certain rules have been violated by prisoners. Prisoners should be subjected to hearings against a panel of prison wardens that are responsible for deciding the punishments that such individuals should face. Other alternative punishment should include use of reduced behavioral time. Confiscation of items and transfer to other security prisons. Transfer to less desirable prison jobs has also proved to be an effective way of punishing individuals. Conclusively the method through which the punishment was carried out against the plaintiff was completely uncalled for and warrants a cause of action and complaint against the prison officers. Such actions do not uphold the Eighth Amendment rights and are in violation of the constitutional rights of the prisoners.
In the case that involved Malley vs. Briggs where a police officer is questioned over money damages for unlawful arrest. There was no proper cause for the establishment of reasons for arrest. The arrest of the individual was unwarranted and the plaintiff had justifiable cause to file for related charges. The case facts was that state troopers were undertaking a narcotics investigation. The plaintiff was a suspect in the investigation as they the enforcement officers were of the opinion that they were in the possession of marijuana as indicated by Flaxman (2007). The state troopers drew up charges that indicated that the suspects had were conspiring to violate the substance act as they were in the possession of marijuana. The charges were drafted based on suspicion and there was no concrete evidence of the same. The judge authorized the arrest of the suspects based on the information provided. Defendants were then arrested at their residence, booked arraigned in a court of law and they were later released. The suspect were then released after an indictment was not returned. Damages were then filed against the state troopers for the violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The case brought against the troopers was as a cause of application, for obtaining and executing an arrest warrant but with the lack of probable cause.
The decisions taken by the courts at first was as a result of lack of indictment by the jurists that led to the release of the plaintiffs. During the filing of the civil suit the decisions made by the court was that the case was as a result of unconstitutional arrest due to a defective search warrant. Arguments brought forth is that the defendant acted in good faith and the warrant was issued by a neutral magistrate thus has much reasonability. The advantages perceived to be held by a state trooper as having absolute immunity in such civil action suits would allow the officer to act in the best interests of the public as shown by Flaxman (2007). This was not allowed to the state troopers as absolute immunity. The state trooper tried to argue that their actions were supported by the judge’s warrant and his actions were based on suspicions that were believed to be true at that instance. The argument was however dismissed on the grounds that probable cause was not well established and therefore their actions were inappropriate. It is the mandate of the police to ensure that necessary action is undertaken to minimize the level of risk in exercising reasonable judgment as all parameters must be met and the due process followed in meeting of responsibilities.
A solution to the problem faced by the officers is to ensure that all ‘grey areas’ that they might face in the form of unnecessary lawsuits is kept at a bare minimum. The mere thought of suspicion is not enough grounds that warrant the arrest of individuals and there has to be substantial proof before arrest warrants are effected with the help of judges. However this should not limit their application of official duties as this is required from the police. The required evidence should be sought on suspects that are deemed to be in breach of the various statutes in place. Reasonable cause must be established as was in the case of United States v. Leon (No. 82-1771). Future cases should allow for probable cause to be established while limiting the liabilities of police officers through maintenance of the case parameters when filing for arrest warrants. It is upon the onus of the police to establish the fundamental areas that are necessary for instituting search warrants against individuals that are in contravention of the law. However the possibility of constant seizures and warrants should be limited as the rights of the citizens are being contravened in the case of abrupt and unprocedural seizures.
Flaxman, J. (2007). Proximate Cause in Constitutional Torts: Holding Interrogators Liable for Fifth Amendment Violations at Trial. Michigan Law Review, 105(7), 1551-1572.
Salaam, R. M. (2002). Hope v. Pelzer: The Supreme Court Revisits the Qualified Immunity Defense. Am. J. Trial Advoc., 26, 643.