In 1975, James Dean Walker (plaintiff) escaped from an Arkansas prison and remained at large until his capture in California four years later. Thereafter, the Governor of Arkansas requested that Walker be extradited back to Arkansas to stand trial. The Governor of California complied and issued a warrant of arrest and rendition. Pacileo (defendant), the Sheriff of El Dorado County, California, served Walker with the arrest warrant. Walker challenged the issuance of the warrant in both state and federal courts. The Supreme Court of California issued a writ of habeas corpus for Walker and instructed the El Dorado County Superior Court to “conduct hearings to determine if the penitentiary in which Arkansas seeks to confine [Walker] is presently operating in conformance with the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and thereafter to decide the petition on its merits.” Pacileo appealed and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.