I read an article on NBC News this morning: Boston Bomber Tsarnaev Faces Prison Hell if He Escapes Execution. Then I had a natural question: is supermax prison worse than death?
What life is like in a supermax prison
I’ve had this thought before. One idea behind any death sentence is it’s the strongest punishment imaginable. But is that true? Are there some forms of prison that could be worse than death? The answer has to be “yes”.
If Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man convicted of the Boston Marathon bombings, gets sentenced to life in prison, he’d likely go to the supermax prison in Colorado. Here’s how the NBC News article described the prison:
Prisoners spend about 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in 12-by-7-foot cells with a single 4-inch-wide window and walls thick enough to stifle any attempts at communication. A slot in the door is used to deliver meals and for any visits.
Amnesty International last year said the facility breached international standards for the humane treatment of prisoners.
“It breaks down the human spirit, it breaks down the human psyche. It breaks your mind,” former supermax inmate Garrett Linderman told CBS’ 60 Minutes in 2009.