New Report Finds More Than 122,000 People In Solitary Confinement In The United States

Figures Exceed Previous Counts Because They Include All People in Solitary in Prisons and Jails for 22 or More Hours a Day, and Are Based on the Most Reliable Available Sources Washington, DC — The watchdog group Solitary Watch and the advocacy coalition Unlock the Box today released a groundbreaking joint report showing that at least 122,840 people are locked daily in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons and jails for 22 or more hours a day. Calculating Torture ( LINK ) is the first report to combine the use of solitary in local and federal jails in addition to state and federal prisons. It is based on analysis of data recently released by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) as well as by state prison systems that did not report to BJS, and data from a survey of local jails conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice.

USA | Advocates say DOJ federal execution moratorium ‘not enough’

Merrick Garland
Anti-death penalty advocates are criticizing the Biden administration’s moratorium on federal executions as inadequate, while some conservatives are calling the move “disgraceful.”

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said the moratorium “does nothing” to abolish capital punishment.

“Simply put, if the administration doesn’t repeal or commute, it isn’t taking steps to end the federal #deathpenalty,” Mr. Dunham tweeted on Thursday. “It may be making reforms, but it isn’t fulfilling the Biden campaign pledge [to do so].”

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said the administration’s moratorium was misguided.

“White supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans at a Bible study,” Mr. Cotton tweeted. “Merrick Garland just paused his execution. Disgraceful.”

The Witness to Innocence organization echoed Mr. Dunham’s sentiments, tweeting that the Justice Department’s action is a “step in the right direction, but not enough. Biden can and should commute fed death row.”

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the moratorium Thursday night, just hours after John Hummel, who is convicted of killing his family, was executed in Texas.

The moratorium will be in place while the Justice Department conducts a review of policies and procedures implemented in the last two years by the Trump administration, which carried out the executions of 13 people, after 17 years without any federal executions.

Under the former president, officials barred the Food and Drug Administration from regulating execution methods and allowed one execution drug to be administered instead of three. The Trump administration also shortened the time period to notify prisoners of their death date, which some attorneys say made it harder to file an appeal.

Moreover, the Trump administration made it legal to use firing squads or a gas chamber for executions, a move that has been criticized as unreliable and inhumane.

Mr. Dunham criticized the scope of the new review as too “narrow.”

“If the DOJ review is as narrow as the memorandum suggests — i.e., it addresses only the things the Trump administration did to expedite executions and expand the methods available to kill federal prisoners — it barely even scratches the surface of #deathpenalty reform,” Mr. Dunham tweeted.

He said a moratorium for a “serious” review of the overall federal death penalty system “would have some symbolic value as opposed to this mini-moratorium/mini-study.”

Mr. Garland did not provide a timetable for the review, but said no prisoners will be sentenced to death or executed while it is being conducted.

“The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States, but is also treated fairly and humanely,” Mr. Garland said in a press release. “That obligation has special force in capital cases.”

Since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. in 1976, a total of 1,534 people have been executed in the U.S. — the vast majority being state, not federal, executions — and there are 28 people scheduled to be executed over the next few years, four of which are scheduled for this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center website.

In March, Virginia became the 23rd state to abolish capital punishment. 

Opponents of capital punishment argue it disproportionately targets minorities, is inhumane, is a cost burden to taxpayers and runs the risk of killing an innocent person.

Source: washingtontimes.com, Emily Zantwo, July 2, 2021

🚩 | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.

Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

The Death Penalty: A Breach of Human Rights and Ethics of Care

Saudi Arabia Executes Man Over Weapons Training Abroad

New Report Finds More Than 122,000 People In Solitary Confinement In The United States

Texas | El Paso District Attorney decides to pursue the death penalty in state’s case against Walmart shooter

Arizona | "I Watched My Brother’s Lethal Injection"

Iran | Man Executed After Interpol Extradition From Malaysia

Jury recommends death penalty for Florida man who killed girl and her babysitter in 1990

Florida | DeSantis delays execution of Palm Beach County killer Duane Owen

Lawmakers try again to bar hypnosis-induced evidence from Texas criminal trials

Iran | Rights Group Demands Strong Response to Public Execution in Maragheh