Friday, November 19, 2010

Supermax Prisons: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?

Some interesting thoughts raised at LGM regarding the Ghailani verdict.  In particular, the idea that it may actually be a worse situation being sentenced to 20 years in a Supermax prison within the civilian criminal system, than being held indefinitely at a military institution.  Why?  Because the conditions in Supermax prisons are so degrading, so foul, that they may breach international law, and indeed, the law of the United States itself, regarding cruel and unusual punishment.  This article at alternet compares the situation to torture, while there has apparently been a  UN Committee against torture ruling condemning the conditions at Supermax prisons.

I didn't realise the US did things like this.  I mean, I know it is clich√© to ridicule the US system for its misguided approach to most everything to do with punishment, but really? 

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