Hope v. Pelzer, 536 U.S. 730, 5 (2002)

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  Next



Opinion of the Court

post on two occasions. On May 11, 1995, while Hope was working in a chain gang near an interstate highway, he got into an argument with another inmate. Both men were taken back to the Limestone prison and handcuffed to a hitching post. Hope was released two hours later, after the guard captain determined that the altercation had been caused by the other inmate. During his two hours on the post, Hope was offered drinking water and a bathroom break every 15 minutes, and his responses to these offers were recorded on an activity log. Because he was only slightly taller than the hitching post, his arms were above shoulder height and grew tired from being handcuffed so high. Whenever he tried moving his arms to improve his circulation, the handcuffs cut into his wrists, causing pain and discomfort.

On June 7, 1995, Hope was punished more severely. He took a nap during the morning bus ride to the chain gang's worksite, and when it arrived he was less than prompt in responding to an order to get off the bus. An exchange of vulgar remarks led to a wrestling match with a guard. Four other guards intervened, subdued Hope, handcuffed him, placed him in leg irons and transported him back to the prison where he was put on the hitching post. The guards made him take off his shirt, and he remained shirtless all

findings are part of the record in this case. See, e. g., Plaintiff's Preliminary Response to Defendants' Special Report, Record 30; Defendants' Response to Court Order, App. 61. Accordingly, for purposes of our review of the grant of summary judgment, the Austin findings may also be assumed true, and we reference them when appropriate.

As Austin explained, the hitching post is a horizontal bar " 'made of sturdy, nonflexible material,' " placed between 45 and 57 inches from the ground. Inmates are handcuffed to the hitching post in a standing position and remain standing the entire time they are placed on the post. Most inmates are shackled to the hitching post with their two hands relatively close together and at face level. 15 F. Supp. 2d, at 1241-1242.

Page:   Index   Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007