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Sandin v. Conner - Essay Example

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In August 1987, Conner, an inmate at the Halawa Correctional Facility in Oahu, was subjected to a strip search, to which he angrily retorted with foul language at the officer. Conner was thereafter brought before an adjustment committee on charges of serious misconduct, during…
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Sandin v. Conner
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"Sandin v. Conner"

Download file to see previous pages In said action, the District Court granted the officials summary judgement, which was however reversed by the Court of Appeals. The CA ruled that Conner had a liberty interest to be free from disciplinary segregation, for which reason there was a question of fact whether he had been denied due process, under Wolff v. McDonnell (418 US 539).
1. According to the decision in Wolff, states may in certain circumstances create liberty interests that are protected by the Due Process Clause. Those interests, however, will mostly be in the nature of freedom from restraint, in the sense that the punishment imposes an atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary and usual conditions of prison life.
3. The punitive measure taken against Conner, which is disciplinary segregation, is not the atypical, significant hardship in which a State might conceivably create a liberty interest. Aside from the fact that Conner’s record was subsequently expunged, segregation was administered as a usual condition of prison life, not more burdensome than similar measures imposed upon inmates in administrative segregation and protective custody. Conner’s discipline did not exceed similar but totally discretionary confinement, in either duration or degree of restriction.
This writer agrees with the decision. It is true that prisoners do not shed all constitutional rights at the prison gate, (Wolff, 418 U.S. at 555), but it must be remembered that “lawful incarceration brings about the necessary withdrawal or limitation of many privileges and rights, a retraction justified by the considerations underlying our penal system” (Price v. Johnston, 334 U.S. 266, 285 (1948)). The court has determined that while the case involves a punitive measure imposed on Conner, it is not a “dramatic departure” from the basic conditions of his sentence. Within bounds of reason and where abuse is absent, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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