America’s Other Death Penalty Problem and Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOPP) and The Absolute Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment- Notes from the Inside
America’s Other Death Penalty Problem
What does it say about a country that can condemn 50,000 men and women to the slow, grinding death in prison of life without the possibility of parole? In 49 of these United States, the sentence of death by imprisonment is a well-used option. In several states- California, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania- there are thousands of individuals suffering under this sentence, in the worst prisons, with the greatest restrictions, and the fewest privileges.
There are several reasons why the prison industrial complex (PIC) continues to grow in America, and I will focus on two of the most important. The first is that in punishing people we as a society attempt to appease the fearful side of our own human nature. The second is that vested interests keep this very unsuccessful system going. Just as steel companies need iron and timber companies need trees, so prisons use people as their raw material.