Friday, March 12, 2010

Cruel and unusual punishment - 8th amendment does not apply for prisoners - according to Judge Clarence Thomas

I was disturbed to read in the NY Times today, a report regarding the 8th amendment. According to the report, Judge Thomas believes that the 8th amendment is not designed to protect prisoners. I read of one prisoner who was chained to a post for 7 hours without sustenance or bathroom breaks. Another was thrown to the floor and beaten by a guard after requesting a form to file a complaint, yet another was beaten while shackled and lost teeth and was bruised and bloodied.

Judge Thomas does not feel that prisoners have rights vis-a-vis the 8th amendment - "Cruel and unusual punishment" do not apply to them in terms of their rights. Why is it that we conveniently forget that prisoners are human being and deserve the same civil rights granted to others under the Constitution and Amendments?

I have a couple of close family members who are currently incarcerated and to think that they could be subjected to "cruel and unusual punishment" at the hands of an overbearing zealot of a prison guard, without room for recourse makes me sad and frustrated - even downright mad!

Let's flood the office of Clarence Thomas with emails and phone calls and let him know of our displeasure. After all, Mr. Thomas claimed to have empathy for prisoners in the article and even stated "There but for the grace of God go I" - how quickly we forget the laws of statistics.

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