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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118839 Find in a Library
Title: Isolation of Death Row (From Facing the Death Penalty, P 198-202, 1989, Michael L Radelet, ed. -- See NCJ-118827)
Author(s): C M Lambrix
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Temple University Press
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
Sale Source: Temple University Press
1601 N. Broad Street
University Service Bldg., Room 305
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6099
United States of America
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A death row inmate describes the physical, emotional, and social isolation that he and other death row inmates experience.
Abstract: He notes that this isolation is the main challenge among the many struggles and challenges that life under a death sentence presents. Part of the isolation stems from the physical constraints. Another part results from the symbolic isolation that comes from living with the fact that 12 members of the community have determined that the offender is a worthless person who should no longer be permitted to exist. In addition, except for a few hours a week in a small exercise yard, the death row inmate has no chance to see other people without bars blocking the view. Moreover, friendships are based on the coincidence of the closeness of the person's cell rather than on the basis of respect, interest, or the common understandings that typify most human relationships. Support from families is also unavailable to many death row inmates. An additional element of isolation is the feeling of seeing close friends and neighbors being led off to their executions. The final element of isolation results from the internal struggles and impatience arising from delays and uncertainties surrounding appeals, awareness of missed opportunities in the outside world, and the necessity of leading a life of total dependency.
Main Term(s): Death row inmates
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Inmate attitudes
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