"Fatal Flaws" in the Colorado Solitary Confinement Study

Guest Post by Stuart Grassian, M.D. Editors’ Note: The Colorado Department of Corrections recently released the controversial results of a year-long, federally funded study conducted at the Colorado State Penitentiary, a supermax prison in Cañon City where more than 700 men are held in solitary confinement. Entitled “One Year Longitudinal Study of the Psychological Effects of Administrative Segregation,” […]

The Machinery of Death: Some Death Row Prisoners Can Still Opt for Firing Squad (or Electric Chair, Gas Chamber, or Noose)

The state of Utah is going to allow death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner to choose how he dies–as long as he chooses either lethal injection or a firing squad. Gardner is one of a shrinking groups of condemned prisoners, in more than a dozen states, who are still permitted to make a final, macabre choice between lethal injection and […]

Maine Legislature Votes to Study Solitary Confinement Practices--But Not to Change Them

Everyone concerned with solitary confinement has been closely watching a landmark effort in the Maine state legislature to pass a bill that would have significantly limited the practice in state prisons. On Monday that effort culminated in what some advocates have called a “gutted” version of the bill–and others see as a meaningful first step toward […]

Dead Man Killing Himself

One of the many grotesque realities involved in the administration of the death penalty is the fact that condemned prisoners are not permitted to kill themselves; that privilege is reserved for the state. Lawrence Reynolds was scheduled to be executed by the state of Ohio at 10 a.m. today. But at the appointed time, Lawrence was in the hospital, […]