Pervear v. Massachusetts
|Pervear v. Massachusetts|
Supreme Court of the United States
|Argued April 17, 1867
Decided April 29, 1867
|Full case name||Pervear v. the Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|Citations||72 U.S. 475 (more)|
|Jones v. Cunningham, 371 U.S. 236 (1963)|
Pervear v. Massachusetts, 72 U.S. (5 Wall.) 475 (1866) was a case brought before the United States Supreme Court in 1866 over the issue of prisoners' rights. The court ruled that prisoners have no constitutional rights, not even Eighth Amendment rights. This was the first case stating the "hands off" policy that allowed states to run their prisons without federal interference. The application of the Bill of Rights to state action did not come until later and then only in part.
A Massachusetts business owner was convicted and sentenced to the payment of a large fine and to three months of hard labor for failing to have a state license for his liquor store. He tried to invoke the "cruel and unusual punishment" clause of the Eighth Amendment.
Opinion of the Court
This "hands off" policy was not successfully challenged until 1963 in Jones v. Cunningham when Supreme Court ruled that inmates in state institutions could file a writ of habeas corpus challenging the conditions of their imprisonment as well as its legality.
- "Prisoner Rights, Litigation and Constitutional Law". Archived from the original on 2007-12-16. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "Constitutional Topic: The Bill of Rights". U.S. Constitution Online. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "Pervear v. The Commonwealth. December term, 1866". supreme.justia.com. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- Works related to Pervear v. Massachusetts at Wikisource
- PERVEAR v. COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS, 72 U.S. 475 (1866)