When a Kentucky prison guard shoots a Kentucky prisoner, the guard and other prison officials may have violated that prisoner’s civil rights. Last week, Susan Knight, a guard at Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky, shot Antonio Wofford, a prisoner there.

Wofford, a minimum security prisoner who was allowed to work outside the prison’s walls, allegedly left the grounds and a woman picked him up in a car. Soon, however, the driver crashed the car. After the crash, Wofford allegedly attempted to flee on foot. When Wofford tried to climb a stone wall, Knight shot and injured him.

Even an escaped prisoner retains constitutional protections against prison officials’ use of excessive force. To prove a civil rights violation, the prisoner or his legal representative must show prison officials acted maliciously or sadistically to cause harm, rather than in a good-faith effort to restore discipline. Courts use the following factors to determine whether prison officials acted in good faith: the extent of the prisoner’s injury; the need for application of force; the relationship between the need and the amount of force used; the threat reasonably perceived by the responsible officials; and any efforts made to temper the severity of a forceful response.

If you or a loved one has been injured by excessive force used by staff at a Kentucky jail or Kentucky prison, Craig Henry PLC offers a free consultation to discuss your situation and advise you of your legal options.

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