"Being in a cage for such an extended period of time, it has its downfalls."
April 30, 2012 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Forty years in solitary: two men mark sombre anniversary in Louisiana prison

They were incarcerated with Robert King, previously on MeFi. That prison is Angola, previously, previouslyer, previouslyest
posted by the man of twists and turns (25 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Angola Anthem
posted by philip-random at 8:40 PM on April 30, 2012


I'm amazed by how cogent these men are. I'd have either gone insane or killed myself by now.
posted by orange swan at 8:43 PM on April 30, 2012


AMURRKA! FUCK YUH!!!!

Jesus Christ, what the fuck is wrong with us?
posted by notsnot at 8:45 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


They look like they're made of better stuff than me. As if the American prison system were not already a disgrace, such barbarity at the hands of the state is incomprehensible to me.
posted by 2N2222 at 8:58 PM on April 30, 2012


This is utter insanity.

Question for US MeFites. Is Bobby Jindal likely to listen to public calls for their release from solitary? Or is that likely to be percieved as 'soft on crime' and therefore verboten?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:08 PM on April 30, 2012


I just wrote to Gov. Jindal. Here's the link if you'd like to write, too: http://www.gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=form&tmp=email_governor
posted by HotToddy at 9:08 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Jesus Christ, what the fuck is wrong with us?

Some people tend towards sadism and socipathy. Lots more people tend towards apathy, ignorance (willful and not), selfishness, and complacency. It's not just Americans, lots of people are like that everywhere. I wonder if there will ever be a good way to identify sadists and sociopaths and keep them out of power positions.
posted by cairdeas at 9:08 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Angola is a living breathing plantation worked by forced labor, a bizarre anachronism from a time that never actually went away.

Slavery by another name
posted by Blasdelb at 9:09 PM on April 30, 2012


Both men, whose sentences for their original crimes have long since passed, suffer from a range of different medical issues – some due in part to their conditions of confinement and their enforced sedentary lifestyle.
posted by Danila at 9:19 PM on April 30, 2012


2 more years and they will have surpassed Robert Stroud's hitherto unbreakable 42 year record in solitary.

Tommy Silverstein is currently the longest-serving solitary prisoner in the Federal system. (his confinement is classified as "No Human Contact")
posted by ShutterBun at 9:26 PM on April 30, 2012


Question for US MeFites. Is Bobby Jindal likely to listen to public calls for their release from solitary?

No, he's not. Bobby Jindal is a straight-up tough-on-crime Louisiana Republican.

Not that that should stop anyone from writing him.
posted by gingerest at 9:39 PM on April 30, 2012


Question for US MeFites. Is Bobby Jindal likely to listen to public calls for their release from solitary?

That's rich. Jindal has been mentioned on Republican Presidential and VP shortlists, he'd be just as likely to call for their outright execution as release from solitary.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:23 PM on April 30, 2012


Cruel and unusual.
posted by schmod at 10:30 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's rich. Jindal has been mentioned on Republican Presidential and VP shortlists, he'd be just as likely to call for their outright execution as release from solitary.

That's what I figured. It's hard to find unbiased info on him. His wiki entry makes him sound far more progressive than I thought he was, given the state of the US Republican party.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:42 PM on April 30, 2012


I am just speechless.
posted by gt2 at 11:14 PM on April 30, 2012


In the Land of the Free (2010)
posted by phaedon at 11:16 PM on April 30, 2012


Remind me again, why is America better than China?

The current news has Obama urging China to improve its human rights record. The context is Chen Guangcheng, held under house arrest because he opposed forced abortions.

Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox are in solitary for 40 years because they opposed rape.
posted by EnterTheStory at 12:01 AM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Remind me again, why is America better than China?

I was wondering exactly the same thing as I listened on the radio a moment ago, to the news that Hillary Clinton is about to be lecturing the Chinese today on their commitment to Human Rights.

Wouldn't her mission have more sway if the Chinese weren't able to point to cases like this and say 'get your own house in order before you have the gall to come and hector us on this issue'?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:13 AM on May 1, 2012


As long as too many Americans are complacently accepting this treatment of the powerless, nothing will change. Americans accept the Supreme Court appointing the president. They accept war being waged on false pretence. They can accept the State choosing victims and torturing them for 40 years.

But don't miss the next episode of Must Watch TV!
posted by Goofyy at 12:48 AM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is the thing I find most confusing about America: that the places where Christian values carry such a premium are precisely the ones where redemption and forgiveness are actively spurned by the exact same people who claim such allegiance to Christ's teachings.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:19 AM on May 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


What I found staggering in descriptions of Angola is that the area of the whole property is 28 square miles. The thought of being able to go five miles and still be on prison land is scary.
posted by Azara at 2:37 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


His thoughts were red thoughts, Bobby Jindal exists only to serve Bobby Jindal and his rich friends. If there were a wooden nickel to be made from releasing these men they'd have been out of prison as soon as Jindal was inaugurated. As mentioned above, they're more valuable to him as proof that Bobby is tough on crime. So they'll rot in those cells until they die. Right-wing Christian values at their finest from a small-government conservative whose entire professional life has been spent -- wait for it -- in the public sector.
posted by wintermind at 5:17 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


You forgot to call Jindal a racist.
posted by TSOL at 6:10 AM on May 1, 2012


I don't know if Jindal's a racist or not, TSOL, do you? I do know that he's an amoral opportunist.
posted by wintermind at 6:45 AM on May 1, 2012


Remind me again, why is America better than China?

Because this is a prison where people are sent after receiving the due process of law, at least in theory. They are given a trial by jury where the state has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the guilt of the accused person, and people aren't sent to Angola for shoplifting. I have no doubt that innocent people have been sent there, our system isn't perfect, and we should be striving (more than we are) for a fair judicial system. However to pretend that our criminal justice system is used for silencing political discourse or maintaining corrupt politicians (although making that case in Louisiana is tough, even for me) because some people are not well served by the system is NOT the moral equivalent of the authoritarian justice system in China or other totalitarian countries. I do believe the majority of the people in Angola are not the kind of people we want walking around free to victimize another person. Does this particular person deserve solitary for this long? I don't believe so. I believe it would be kinder to just kill the person, not that I am advocating this, I am actually not familiar with this case.
posted by bartonlong at 2:33 PM on May 1, 2012


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