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26 Tex. J. on C. L. & C. R. 117 (2020-2021)
Cruel but Not Unusual the Automatic Use of Indefinite Solitary Confinement on Death Row: A Comparison of the Housing Policies of Death-Sentenced Prisoners and Other Prisoners throughout the United States

handle is hein.journals/tfcl26 and id is 129 raw text is: Cruel but not Unusual
The Automatic Use of Indefinite Solitary
Confinement on Death Row:
A Comparison of the Housing Policies of
Death-Sentenced Prisoners
and other Prisoners Throughout the United
Merel Pontier
The degree of civilization in a
society can be judged by
entering its prisons.
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Over the past twelve months, I have researched and compared
housing policies for death-sentenced and non-death sentenced prisoners
throughout the United States. I chose this topic because the death penalty
and circumstances on death row have had my interest for many years. I
am from the Netherlands, where the death penalty is forbidden by
Protocol No. 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The use
of prolonged and indefinite solitary confinement in European prisons has
mostly been banned as well. My seven-year friendship with Clinton
Young, a death-sentenced individual in Texas, motivated me to move to
Texas to study at the University of Texas School of Law and become an
attorney, to help those on death row, and to research conditions on death
row. Countless times I visited death-sentenced prisoners in the Polunsky
Unit in Livingston, Texas and observed the devastating effects of
indefinite solitary confinement on death-sentenced prisoners, their
families, and their friends.. These prisoners are confined to a small cell
for at least twenty-two hours a day and unable to hug their loved ones
for years. These confinement conditions add inhumane treatment to the
most severe and irreversible punishment that exists.
With this article, I aim to advance the fight against the death penalty
and the use of indefinite solitary confinement on death row in the United
States. I am thankful and indebted to the attorneys who have shared their

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