The Fourth Circuit unanimously held that criminal punishment of an alcoholic for public drunkenness violates the eighth and fourteenth amendments. This landmark decision, while apparently sound, leaves the states with many new problems in effecting the shift from the jail to the hospital. Some possible solutions to these problems are suggested herein. In addition, the possibility of applying the rationale of the holding to crimes other than public drunkenness is considered.
Constitutional Law: Criminal Punishment of Alcoholic for Public Drunkenness Held to Be Cruel and Unusual Under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments,
1966 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol15/iss2/9