Would soon have to decide if there is a

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would soon have to decide if there is a constitutional obligation to preserve forensic evidence that might later be tested. If so, for how long? Would it be different for different types of evidence? Would the State also have some obligation to gather such evidence in the first place? How much, and when?” 1262 Rights of Prisoners. —Until relatively recently the view pre- vailed that a prisoner “has, as a consequence of his crime, not only forfeited his liberty, but all his personal rights except those which the law in its humanity accords to him. He is for the time being the slave of the state.” 1263 This view is not now the law, and may never have been wholly correct. 1264 In 1948 the Court declared that “[l]awful incarceration brings about the necessary withdrawal or limi- tation of many privileges and rights”; 1265 “many,” indicated less than “all,” and it was clear that the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses to some extent do apply to prisoners. 1266 More direct ac- knowledgment of constitutional protection came in 1972: “[f]ederal courts sit not to supervise prisons but to enforce the constitutional rights of all ‘persons,’ which include prisoners. We are not unmind- ful that prison officials must be accorded latitude in the administra- tion of prison affairs, and that prisoners necessarily are subject to 1260 District Attorney’s Office for the Third Judicial District v. Osborne, 557 U.S. ___, No. 08–6 (2009). 1261 557 U.S. ___, No. 08–6, slip op. at 2. 1262 557 U.S. ___, No. 08–6, slip op. at 20 (citation omitted). Justice Stevens, in a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer and in part by Justice Souter, concluded, “[T]here is no reason to deny access to the evidence and there are many reasons to provide it, not least of which is a fundamental concern in en- suring that justice has been done in this case.” Id. at 17. 1263 Ruffin v. Commonwealth, 62 Va. 790, 796 (1871). 1264 Cf. In re Bonner, 151 U.S. 242 (1894). 1265 Price v. Johnston, 334 U.S. 266, 285 (1948). 1266 “There is no iron curtain drawn between the Constitution and the prisons of this country.” Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539, 555–56 (1974). 2064 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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appropriate rules and regulations. But persons in prison, like other individuals, have the right to petition the government for redress of grievances . . . . 1267 However, while the Court affirmed that fed- eral courts have the responsibility to scrutinize prison practices al- leged to violate the Constitution, at the same time concerns of fed- eralism and of judicial restraint caused the Court to emphasize the necessity of deference to the judgments of prison officials and oth- ers with responsibility for administering such systems. 1268 Save for challenges to conditions of confinement of pretrial de- tainees, 1269 the Court has generally treated challenges to prison con- ditions as a whole under the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment, 1270 while challenges to particular inci- dents and practices are pursued under the Due Process Clause 1271 or more specific provisions, such as the First Amendment’s speech and religion clauses.
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