RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A federal appeals court has tossed out a Virginia inmate's lawsuit against a prison guard who beat him.
A divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that guard C.O. Crum cannot be sued because his beating of Demetrius Hill inflicted no more than minimal injury. A nurse who examined Hill at the federal penitentiary in Jonesville found no injuries from the assault.
The ruling reversed a Roanoke judge's decision allowing the lawsuit to move forward. The majority based its decision on what it said was controlling legal precedent at the time of the 2007 assault.
Judge Stephanie Thacker disagreed. She said the Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that excessive force can constitute cruel and unusual punishment, even if the inmate is not seriously injured.
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