force feeding prisoners to prolong their pain and reject their right to die

This is torture.

Judge Thelton Henderson said some of the prisoners who were near death could be fed, despite some signing requests not to be revived.

They are protesting at the practice of holding violent inmates in isolation, sometimes for more than a decade.

Nearly 130 inmates are refusing meals.

[…]

Four leaders of rival white supremacist, black and enemy Latino gangs joined forces to promote the hunger strike in a bid to put an end to the use of [solitary confinement].

It’s like “curing” depression by strapping someone down permanently and preventing them from self-harm. It only enforces prolonged pain and disallows one to end it (also removing the person’s sense of control, which will make the psychological harm even worse).

And so we’re clear, the fact that rival gangs–basically blood rivals–would join forces on this tells you just how very bad it is. The treatment of inmates is so bad that they are willing to end their own lives, and in a way that itself is torturous.

Solitary confinement for any non-trivial length of timeĀ is torture. It is both cruel and unusual. There is no excuse for the awful treatment of prisoners in the American gulag.

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