I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal this week. Here are some sentences describing someone’s imprisonment.
- Alone in his cell, he isn’t permitted to leave (on weekends) for the 30 minutes of fresh air he gets on weekdays.
- The lights burn 24 hours a day.
- He can’t wear a watch and sometimes finds himself disoriented.
- Authorities state this is “normal treatment.”
- He has been interrogated for up to five hours a day, with no lawyer present.
- Prosecutors can sometimes harangue suspects who choose to remain silent for ten hours a day.
- The person is forced to sign statements in a foreign language that he cannot read.
- Family members are not allowed to visit.
- The cell has a window, but it is very deep in the wall and the prisoner cannot see out.
- Prisoner is allowed a shower twice a week (three times a week in summer). Cold water is all he gets from the tap in his cell.
So, what do you think of this punishment being meted out, to a person imprisoned for a non-violent, financial crime? It sounds cruel and unusual to me, especially for a person charged with a white-collar crime, who has not yet had his day in court. He has not been convicted, or even tried, for this crime. He is being treated like a violent criminal, subject to conditions often found in high-security prisons.More