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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98489 Find in a Library
Title: Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process and Interstate Prison Transfers - Olim v Wakinekona, 103 S Ct 1741 (1983)
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:74  Issue:4  Dated:(1983)  Pages:1387-1403
Author(s): D P Baum
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In Olim v. Wakinekona, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an interstate prison transfer does not directly deprive the inmate of any liberty interest protected by the due process clause of the 14th amendment, even if the transfer involves long distances and an ocean crossing (in this case, from Hawaii to the mainland).
Abstract: In the 'Wakinekona' decision, the Court adhered to the principle it had established in Meachum v. Fano, i.e., that a prisoner has a liberty interest in being confined 'within the normal limits or range of custody which the conviction has authorized the State to impose.' In determining whether the State had exceeded such limits, thus directly implicating the prisoner's protected liberty interest, the Court used the test it established in Vitek v. Jones. Under this test, confinement directly implicates a liberty interest when the 'consequences visited on the prisoner are qualitatively different from the punishment characteristically suffered by a person convicted of crime.' Unlike the Court's minority, the majority found that the inmate transfer from Hawaii to California did not effect consequences qualitatively different from those usually suffered by an inmate. The majority was correct in concluding that the long distance of the transfer was 'a matter of degree, not of kind' in comparing it to usual inmate transfers. The Court was also correct in determining that Hawaii's corrections regulations do not limit the prison administrator's discretion and therefore create no liberty interest entitled to due process protection. Here, the Court used the traditional approach set forth in Greenholtz v. Nebraska Penal Inmates -- a case-by-case examination of the structure and language of the regulations. A total of 126 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Hawaii; Inmate transfers; Right to Due Process; US Supreme Court decisions
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