BLACK SOLEDAD PRISONER Wins Cruel & Unusual Punishment Lawsuit LANDMARK 1966 CIVIL RIGHTS CASE AGAINST CALIFORNIA PRISON Robert Charles Jordan, Jr. Plaintiff v C J Fitzharris et al Defendants
This is a landmark civil rights trial in which the plaintiff claims to have been unconstitutionally subjected to cruel and unusual punishment by the conditions at Soledad prison in 1965.
Robert Charles Jordan, Jr., Plaintiff v. C. J. Fitzharris et al, Defendants. Published by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, September 6, 1966. Memorandum Opinion and Order by U.S. District Court Chief Judge George B. Harris. Legal document, stapled bound typewritten sheets, 8.5" x 11", 22 pages. VERY GOOD Condition: light age toning, a small paperclip stain, tiny edge tears to rear cover, otherwise tight, bright, clean and unmarked.
In 1966 a Black prisoner named Robert Charles Jordan, Jr. filed a lawsuit against the Superintendent of Soledad prison charging "cruel and unusual" punishment. What was surprising about this case was that the court found in Jordan's favor. Mr. Jordan was locked in solitary confinement in a "strip cell" at Soledad Prison. The complaint goes on to detail many more inhumane conditions and treatment. After the court ruled that Jordan had in fact been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, the Superintendent of Soledad, Cletus Fitzharris, remained at the head of the prison for 5 more years. He was then promoted to deputy director of the California Department of Corrections. Robert Charles Jordan Jr. was born in 1939 and was 27 years old when he filed this case. He had been convicted at age 19 of assault and has remained, as of 2020, incarcerated in a California prison. The Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s pushed (at national, and local levels and in legislatures and courts) to recognize that the government disproportionately policed, incarcerated, and oppressed people of color and the economically disadvantaged. Court litigation records like this detail the horrific treatment incarcerated people continue to endure in prison.