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Texas Prisoner States Arguable 1983 Claim by Asserting That He Was Forced to Walk to Shower Undressed in Winter

John Michael Withrow, a Texas state prisoner was forced to walk 400 feet to the shower, wearing only his underwear during the winter months. He filed suit in federal district court, claiming he’d been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of 42 U.S.C. 1983 and the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The district court dismissed the case as frivolous, and Withrow appealed.

On appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit found that Withrow had arguably shown that he was treated with deliberate indifference to his right to the minimal civilized measure of life’s necessities when he was subjected to winter temperatures in only his underwear. The court found that to be a colorable 8th Amendment claim and reversed and remanded the case. See: Withrow v. Heaton et al., 5th Cir. No. 01-40350 (2001).

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Related legal case

Withrow v. Heaton