On February 22, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled that excessive force claims are to be decided on the nature of the force, not on the extent of the injury. In Wilkins v. Gaddy, the district court dismissed an excessive force claim based on the determination that the prisoner's injuries were "de minimis." The Court reversed that decision, claiming that the lower court had incorrectly decided the case through the standard found in Hudson v. MacMillian. The Court ruled in that case that "the use of excessive physical force against a prisoner may constitute cruel and unusual punishment [even] when the inmate does not suffer serious injury."
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