No. 90-6531.

503 U.S. 1 (1992)


United States Supreme Court.

Decided February 25, 1992.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Alvin J. Bronstein, by appointment of the Court, 500 U.S. 903, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were John A. Powell, Steven R. Shapiro, Mark J. Lopez, and Elizabeth Alexander.

Deputy Solicitor General Roberts argued the cause for the United States as amicus curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Starr, Assistant Attorneys General Dunne and Mueller, Acting Deputy Solicitor General Wright, and Ronald J. Mann.

Harry McCall, Jr., Special Assistant Attorney General of Louisiana, argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief were William J. Guste, Jr., Attorney General, Jonathan C. McCall, Special Assistant Attorney General, and Jenifer Schaye, Clifton O. Bingham, Jr., Houston C. Gascon III, and Joseph Erwin Kopsa, Assistant Attorneys General.*

O'Connor, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and White, Kennedy, and Souter, JJ., joined, and in which Stevens, J., joined as to Parts I, II—A, II—B, and II—C. Stevens, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, p. 12. Blackmun, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, , p. 13. Thomas, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia, J., joined, , p. 17.

Justice O'Connor, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case requires us to decide whether the use of excessive physical force against a prisoner may constitute cruel and unusual punishment when the inmate does not suffer serious injury. We answer that question in the affirmative.


At the time of the incident that is the subject of this suit, petitioner Keith Hudson was an inmate at the state penitentiary...


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