Wednesday, 2 November 2011
I came across this via @someoneontwitter (sorry, can't rediscover link). It's pretty astonishing.
It's about a murderer called Tommy Silverstein who is involved in a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, in which he contends that his decades of utter isolation in a small concrete cell violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, as well as its guarantee of due process. The description of him cowering under a sheet while a cell was built around him is pretty harrowing, and it's part of a lengthy statement written to describe my experience during this lengthy period of solitary confinement: the nature and impact of the harsh conditions I have endured in spite of a spotless conduct record for over 22 years, and my lack of knowledge about what, if anything, I can do to lessen my isolation.
(In other legal news, you will probably never be affected by the cuts to legal aid which mean that people facing life-wrecking charges will increasingly be unable to get halfway decent representation, because you are rich and/or well-educated. It's only happening because it will never affect rich, well-educated people, and it's really bad. Speak to a criminal barrister about it.)