Thirty-one years of solitude…and counting

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Thirty-one years of solitude…and counting

No end in sight to solitary confinement for the longest isolated federal prisoner

Thirty-one years of solitude…and counting

How long should the government be allowed to imprison someone in extreme isolation?

Indefinitely, according to a new federal appeals court ruling.

The case, Thomas Silverstein. v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, raised the question of whether decades of solitary confinement within the already isolating conditions of prison constitutes cruel and unusual punishment – legal parlance for torture.

Silverstein, 62, is a convicted murderer imprisoned at ADX, the federal government’s supermax in Florence, Colo., which is most restrictive prison on the planet. He has the distinction of having been housed in solitary confinement…

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