View Full Version : ACLU prisons director to tour death row.(grr rr I am ranting)

07-18-2003, 04:06 PM
These people make me sick, my Tracy lived in Parchman Unit 32C for 15 1/2 years. they stood in sewer for two weeks. they went without water unless you could buy it many times. Tracy was the one who worked so hard to get the ACLU attention in this, even though he knew he wouldn't be here, he wanted it for others. They had someone come from the State last summer, it was 90 degree's outside the temp on the walls inside the cells was 130 degree's I could go on and on with horror stories from parchman.

Two weeks before Tracy was executed he was found with some incense and a piece of carbon paper. The warden said he could have no phone calls for a month for punishment. What you are killing him in two weeks. boy I called and called and so did many others. At one point I said to the Warden are you going to stay his execution so he can serve out his punishment. I said you are killing him in two weeks how can you give him a punishment he can not serve out. I wasn't quite that nice. The Warden actually said to me yeah your right......well duh. So he change the 30 days to the week he had already done without a phone.

orders: 1) The requirement to provide a daily shower, ice water and fans
when the heat index surpasses 90 degrees; 2) an order to upgrade lighting
in each cell; and 3) a mandate to provide a shaded exercise area and
sneakers for exercise.

Ok now tell me how any of these can provide a security risk. Daily showers they are shackled when showering, ice water, maybe they can freeze a guard. Fan maybe they can blow them away.

Lighting oh please it is as dark in there as a coffin. A shade exercise yard and sneakers.

DOC is fighting doing these things, they say these cost to much or are a security risk.
Ok getting off my soap box.


ACLU prisons director to tour death row

ACLU National Prisons Project director Margaret Winter will tour death row
and interview inmates in their cells to see whether state corrections
officials have made changes following a federal trial over the conditions

Winter said she visited the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman
next Wednesday.

"I want to see it with my own eyes," Winter said. "It's very hard for me
to see there is an interest here in cleaning things up."

In May, Magistrate Jerry Davis ordered improvements be made in 10 areas on
death row. His ruling came in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the inmates who
say conditions are inhumane.

The lawsuit alleged that conditions are so harsh they contribute to a high
rate of mental illness among the prisoners.

In his order, Davis said conditions at Parchman constitute cruel and
unusual punishment. Among the changes he ordered were that prisoners must
be given regular mental health examinations, ice water and fans on hot
days, and sneakers instead of flip-flops to exercise with.

The state Department of Corrections is appealing Davis' order. MDOC
general counsel Leonard Vincent, who said a notice of appeal was filed
last month with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said he will file a
motion to block Davis' order pending the review.

"We don't think it's a constitutional right to have ice water and a top
over your exercise yard and a personal fan paid for by the state of
Mississippi," Vincent said. "We don't know of any other state that does

Winter said the ACLU would ask the 5th Circuit to dismiss the MDOC appeal.
She called the appeal premature because it was filed before the state
complied with Davis' request to suggest "less intrusive" remedies to the

MDOC has until July 21 to propose to Davis alternatives to the changes in
the order.

"If they would just put a little bit of interest and effort into this
instead of all their effort into protecting the way they did their things
in the past," Winter said. "They're going through the whole expense and
effort of delaying this thing and appealing it and fighting it."

Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said security was a concern in
complying with some of the court-ordered changes, as well as cost. MDOC is
expected to have a $70 million deficit this fiscal year.

Epps said another reason for challenging the order is the belief Davis
stepped outside the purview of the case when he ordered the changes for
all of Unit 32, where death row prisoners are housed. There are about 70
prisoners on death row, but more than 1,000 prisoners in the unit.

Epps said the prison is already complying with other points raised by

(source: Associated Press)


State must offer basic necessities

Do death row inmates at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman deserve
a daily shower, ice water and fans when the heat index rises above 90

Chris Epps, the commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections,
says they don't.

We disagree.

Epps is contesting this court-ordered mandate and two others in a 10-point
federal ruling designed to eliminate inhumane conditions on Parchman's
death row.

The court order, handed down in May by U.S. Magistrate Jerry Davis,
concluded that substantive changes needed to be made to bring death row
into compliance with the constitutional prohibition against "cruel and
unusual punishment."

Epps should comply with Davis' request - on all points - for one simple
reason: The judge is correct.

Inmates may go to death row to die. Nonetheless, while they are in the
care of the state, they should be treated humanely.

Unfortunately, such has not always been the case at Parchman.

Epps says the prison is complying with a majority of the judge's points.
That's good.

However, he filed an appeal last month to block three of the judge's
orders: 1) The requirement to provide a daily shower, ice water and fans
when the heat index surpasses 90 degrees; 2) an order to upgrade lighting
in each cell; and 3) a mandate to provide a shaded exercise area and
sneakers for exercise.

Epps says cost and security concerns make it difficult for prison
officials to comply with these 3 requirements.

Nonetheless, the Department of Corrections needs to surmount these
challenges and comply with the ruling.

The judge's order deals with basic necessities.

Consequently, Epps should cease and desist his opposition to Davis' order
and address these problems immediately.

(source: Hattiesburg American)

07-18-2003, 06:36 PM
They won't let animals live in those conditions, for heaven's sake! I don't care what crimes have been committed, we have to have a humane standard for people we lock up and prevent from providing for their own basic necessities of life. They'll probably clean it up for the tour and threaten the inmates if they tell, then let it go back to the way it was when the inspection is over.

07-18-2003, 09:24 PM
They were discussing this today on Mississippi's version of talk radio. The above article was in the Clarion Ledger, Mississippi's largest newspaper and the following editorial was also found in today's pages:

Death row

Fighting ruling is counterproductive
The Department of Corrections is tilting at windmills if it believes it can successfully challenge a federal court's order to provide humane conditions for death row inmates at the State Penitentiary at Parchman.

In May, Magistrate Jerry Davis ordered improvements be made in 10 areas on death row. The decision was remarkably mild, given the conditions that were proven in court to exist: including inmates being exposed to raw sewage, uncontrolled insects and sweltering conditions.

For example, areas the state is appealing include allowing inmates daily showers and access to ice water and fans when the heat index rises above 90 degrees.

The federal court didn't order something so radical as air conditioning or comfortable quarters, just plumbing that works, water, fans and clothing. It also doesn't seem too onerous to allow annual mental health checkups.

Those on death row don't deserve a luxuries. But the court didn't order "frills," just adequate shelter and hygiene. The real issues don't have much to do with inmates. They include the department's $70 million deficit this fiscal year, and worries about "setting a precedent" for other inmates.

Frankly, the state could find an even harsher ruling by appealing. The Legislature could be ordered to meet and pay for these conditions, and more, at greater expense.

The state should drop the appeal and comply.

(My Rant follows!)

Mississippi's talk radio is proudly conservative. So, the callers are for the most part conservative as well. Today's discussion wasn't even about liberal vs. conservative - it was about just how cold and cruel their comments could be. I've never been so angry or so ashamed of this state in my entire life. The callers and hosts said things I've heard before - and I have no desire to repeat them.

When did we stop being human to our fellow man?