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Death Before Dying: Death Row Exoneree on Solitary Confinement

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Published on Jul 23, 2013

http://www.aclu.org/solitaryondeathrow

From 1994 to 2006, Anthony Graves spent at least 22 hours a day locked alone in a small cell waiting to die -- all for a crime he did not commit. During those years, 400 other prisoners were also locked alone on Texas' death row. Watch this video to hear Anthony's story.

Transcript:

- Solitary confinement is driving men crazy. I don't understand how someone can subject another human being to this type of punishment and think that it's justified. It is totally inhumane. There's no way around it. You know, you really don't truly understand the impact of removing someone from human contact for years. It can even be for weeks, but it has a-- it has a negative effect on that person. So the human contact, as I said, we're built for that, and it's so important. And it's like-- it's like totally removing someone from society and putting them in a dark hole, right? And everybody's walking over it, and he's shouting from the bottom of that hole, but nobody hears him, you know? And it's dark down there. It just drives you crazy. And I experienced that so many times, where I'm shouting; I'm there. I want-- I want somebody to just, you know, come talk to me, you know, just shake my hand. Something, you know, because you urge for that. And I couldn't get it. You know, so you have to start playing tricks with your own mind, you know, just to try to survive this here thing. I feel that I went through this to be here to share it with you all and let you all know that what we're doing to prisoners and to guys in solitary confinement is totally inhumane. We're driving people crazy. And this is our criminal justice system that's supposed to serve and protect us. But we are literally driving men insane. And those that are already insane, we're just putting them in the casket. That's all we're doing. There's no rehabilitation. There's no such thing as justice in an injust environment. You can't get that.

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