The saying goes “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” In the case of Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, we could say we don’t have to assume he was murdered when instead, perhaps it was the incompetence of those guarding his life to blame for his suicide.
Over at the Federalist, my friend (using a pseudonym) wrote a piece arguing that the most logical explanation is the most simple, that Epstein committed suicide. She pooh-poohs the idea that there’s a more complicated story, something I’m not willing to do. It’s not crazy to think that one of the most hated men in the world, one with some of the most damaging secrets imaginable, could’ve had a hit put out on him. But it’s also not crazy to think that prison officials were this incompetent, even with one of the most “valuable” prisoners in the world.
Justice officials have now uncovered broader problems at the MCC. It’s not clear what else has been found but, it goes beyond the 24 hours before Epstein’s death. Justice officials say the MCC has suffered a breakdown in protocols for a period that goes back years. @evanperez
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) August 12, 2019
It took Epstein’s death for these problems to come to light, but they are the tip of the iceberg for prisons in just the New York City area. One prison, MDC, didn’t have heat during the coldest week of the year in conditions that anyone would call inhumane. The New York Times podcast, The Daily, devoted an entire episode to the abuses at the prison, which are deeply disturbing and worth a listen.
The New York Post covers incidents at another local prison, Riker’s Island, a great deal, and just the stories from this summer alone (a settlement for an inmate raped repeatedly by guards, a dead inmate found in a cell, and missed doctors appointments for sick inmates) are chilling.
The problems with prisons shouldn’t just animate conservatives because of their unconstitutional nature (cruel and unusual punishment), but also because it increases the likelihood of recidivism. Prisoners are becoming more hardened in cruel prison conditions, which costs us as a society and financially when they re-offend.Published in