Saturday, October 18, 2014

Solitary Watch another great article and another great comment

Solitary Watch Holder Makes Obama Administration’s First Public Statement on Solitary Confinement
I have copied this quote from article:
"In fact, one day after it announcement the Ohio settlement, the DOJ, successfully beat back a Constitutional challenge from Thomas Silverstein, who is perhaps the most brutally isolated man in America. A federal appeals court ruled that Silverstein’s 30 years of solitary confinement under a “no human contact” order in ADX and a series of other federal prisons does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. (Read Silverstein’s description of his time in solitary here, and judge for yourself.)"


  1. Alan CYA # 65085 says:
    I find the five references in this summary of judgment to Silverstein’s “IMPROVED CONDITIONS AT ADX”, a place former warden Robert Hood described as A CLEAN VERSION OF HELL. as being hollow to say the least.
    But I am also glad to see that the ASSOCIATION OF BLACK PSYCHOLOGISTS and THE MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT OF THE URBAN JUSTICE CENTER have both realized that everyone has a stake in this case. If the system can hold Silverstein in such conditions for decades they can hold others as well. One can only hope that the interracial solidarity of the Pelican Bay hunger strikers inmates takes hold elsewhere.
    Page 14: “According to this expert, the only means for the BOP to protect him is to undergo a formal debriefing and enter protective custody; however, he has not indicated his interest in such a process.”
    And here:
    Page 45: “In order for the BOP to protect him he must enter protective custody.”
    What they reveal then is that they have the means to protect him but what they want in exchange is to have a death warrant placed on the man along with any close family members by forcing him to debrief.
    In their latest denial of relief for Silverstein, they expose the long delays after transferring Silverstein to ADX, and then their ever so slight easing his conditions to be no more than legal maneuvers to win their case. (I’m referring to the Six Year Statute of Limitations the BOP claimed beginning in November 1983 on his appeal for relief.)
    The brief states as much here: “the district court determined Mr. Silverstein’s Eighth Amendment request for injunctive relief was limited to the conditions imposed after his July 2005 transfer to ADX Florence, and not his prior confinement at Leavenworth because he had not shown he is likely to be subject to those conditions again.”
    This brief also brought up another similar example of such tactics here:
    U.S. District Judge James Ware, wrote, “The crushing conditions of the SHU present an overwhelming incentive for an inmate to embrace the risk of debriefing,” He called Robert’s time in the SHU “a shockingly long period of time” and said the state “presented no evidence that he continued active [gang] participation while confined in the SHU. . . .”
    “Further confinement is tantamount to indefinite administrative segregation for silence — an intolerable practice in modern society.”
    BERZON, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
    “Three times — in 2006, 2009, and 2010 — the district court ordered state officials (“California” or “the State”) to release Robert L. Griffin from segregated housing conditions. Three times, state officials defied that command. California could have appealed the district court’s substantive rulings to us at least twice: after the 2006 Order requiring Griffin’s release, and after the district court in 2010 declined to grant a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) motion for relief from that order. But it did not.”
    The authorities also won this case!
    The use of such transparent tactics only shows that the authorities are willing to win these cases at any cost.
    Only under budget and national pressure do the obvious solutions appear. Like this:
    In California, Life With Parole Increasingly Leads To Freedom
    May 26, 2014 4:06 PM ET
    For Older Parolees, A Low Rate Of Recidivism
    “A study by the Stanford Criminal Justice Center found that among murderers paroled in California, fewer than one percent were returned to prison for new felonies. The main reason? Paroled lifers are typically older, and therefore much less likely to commit violent crimes.
    Associate Warden Jeff Lawson says that as more and more lifers are granted parole and leave prison, the inmates here are taking notice.
    “Most of these guys understand there is a light at the end of the tunnel now, so it just helps improve the overall environment for them,” Lawson says. “And it gets the ones who were maybe straddling the fence to actually get off the fence and get on the right side.””
    Even they realize that men change given hope.
  2. Alan CYA # 65085 says:
    The body of precedent is called “common law” and it binds future decisions.
    So Silverstein’s case will be cited in the future to justify isolating others just as Robert L. Griffin’s case was cited in deciding Silverstein’s.
    And the following should be of concern to those in the legal field as well.
    Final Word on U.S. Law Isn’t: Supreme Court Keeps Editing
    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has been quietly revising its decisions years after they were issued, altering the law of the land without public notice. The revisions include “truly substantive changes in factual statements and legal reasoning,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard and the author of a new study examining the phenomenon…..

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