322 F.2d 908 (8th Cir. 1963), 17328, Harris v. Settle

Docket Nº:17328.
Citation:322 F.2d 908
Party Name:Robert C. HARRIS, Appellant, v. Dr. R. O. SETTLE, Warden, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri, Appellee.
Case Date:October 03, 1963
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 908

322 F.2d 908 (8th Cir. 1963)

Robert C. HARRIS, Appellant,


Dr. R. O. SETTLE, Warden, Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri, Appellee.

No. 17328.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

October 3, 1963

Page 909

Robert C. Harris pro se.

F. Russell Millin, U.S. Atty., and John Harry Wiggins, Asst. U.S. Atty., Kansas City, Mo., for appellee.

Before VAN OOSTERHOUT and BLACKMUN, Circuit Judges, and MEREDITH, District Judge.


Robert C. Harris appeals in forma pauperis from the district court's denial without a hearing of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

Harris is a Negro. He is 47 years of age and is serving a 25-year sentence imposed in July 1950 by an army court martial after conviction of charges of murder, unlawful entry, and assault while on foreign duty. He was originally confined in the federal prison at Atlanta but in July 1958, after certification under 18 U.S.C. § 4241, was transferred to the Medical Center for federal prisoners at Springfield, Missouri.

Harris' petition asserts a violation of the Eighth Amendment's guaranty against the infliction of cruel and unusual punishments. No question is raised, however, as to the legality of his conviction and detention or as to his assignment to the Medical Center. His complaint consists, instead, of allegations that as he was walking in a tunnel between two buildings at the Center, Knox, a white inmate, passed by, called him a bad name, and spat in his face; that Harris then struck Knox twice with his fist; that as a consequence Harris was placed first in solitary confinement and later in a modified restricted unit; that Knox was not punished; that 'this one sided punishment is bias and prejudice and cruel.'; and that Harris 'can not attend the church of his worship,' can shave only twice a week, and 'is segregated from the main population'. As an alternative remedy, he suggests prosecution against the prison authorities under 42 U.S.C. § 1987.

The district court's denial of the petition was proper and is affirmed. As the court said, 'The petition * * * must be denied since it does not allege facts which, if true, would warrant the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus by this court to review the action of the respondent in disciplining petitioner'. In Williams v. Steele, 194 F.2d 32, 34 (8 Cir. 1954), rehearing denied 8 Cir., 194 F.2d 917, cert. denied 344 U.S. 822, 73 S.Ct. 20, 97 L.Ed. 640,...

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