"Under deprivation of rights under color of law" refers to a legal term in the United States that stems from Title 18, Section 242 of the U.S. Code. This federal statute makes it unlawful for anyone acting under "color of law" to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.
To understand this fully, we need to break down some of the key terms involved.
"Color of Law": This phrase refers to an action carried out as though under the authority of the law but which is in actuality done in violation of law. It applies to acts done by government officials within their lawful authority and also acts done beyond the bounds of their official authority, if the acts are done while they are purporting or pretending to act in the performance of their official duties. This would include, for example, acts by police officers, prison guards, or other law enforcement officials that misuse their power.
"Deprivation of Rights": This refers to the denial of fundamental rights that are protected by the Constitution or other laws of the United States. Examples could include the right to be free from excessive force, the right to due process, or the right to equal protection under the law. If a person acting under color of law causes the violation of such rights, they can be held accountable under this statute.
In essence, this statute exists to protect individuals from abuses of power by those acting in an official capacity or appearing to act in an official capacity. Violation of this law can result in criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.