Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grenning v. Miller-Stout (9th Cir. - Jan. 16, 2014)

It's certainly not waterboarding or the like.  But I too wouldn't like it if prison guards kept the lights on in my cell 24 hours a day.

Whether that constitutes "deliberate indifference" depends a lot on the facts; in particular, on just how bright it was.  The facts here are exceptionally unclear.  Which is why the Ninth Circuit remands.

Putting a tiny little night light into my cell to make sure I'm not fighting, or digging a hole, or doing other untoward things seems okay.  Shining a spotlight on me 24 hours a day is a different matter.

I'm sure the present case is somewhere in between these two extremes.  We'll find out precisely where on remand.