STUDIES: "A Death Before Dying: Solitary Confinement on Death Row"

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union, “A Death Before Dying: Solitary Confinement on Death Row,” contains a survey of the conditions on death rows across the country and offers a comprehensive review of the serious implications of subjecting inmates to solitary confinement. The report reveals that most death row prisoners are housed in tiny cells, ranging from 36-100 square feet, roughly the size of an average bathroom; 93% of states lock up their death row prisoners for 22 or more hours a day. The report is accompanied by a video featuring Anthony Graves, who spent several years in solitary confinement on Texas’s death row before he was exonerated and released in 2010. Graves described solitary confinement as “like living in a dark hole.” He wrote, “I saw the people living on death row fall apart. One guy suffered some of his last days smearing feces, lying naked in the recreation yard, and urinating on himself. I saw guys who dropped their appeals and elected to die because of the intolerable conditions. To sum it up, I saw a bunch of dead men walking because of the conditions that killed everything inside of them.”

A Death Before Dying: Solitary Confinement on Death Row,” ACLU, released July 22, 2013). See Death Row. Read more Studies on the death penalty.