Friday, January 27, 2006
Diane Wilson: An angel within.
I can't talk myself out of believing that for Some People, the prison system is a convenient way of ensuring that large numbers of the lower classes "do it and decrease the surplus population". What goes on is conveniently out of sight, and most people would assume that the people in prison deserve whatever happens to them, including death from neglect or abuse.
Several right-wingers have told me, prior to the DNA testing that proved that a number of people on death row were innocent, that they had no qualms about people being put to death for crimes they didn't commit.
They admitted that it was likely that some prisoners had been wrongly convicted, but it didn't matter. The execution of innocents, they said, would serve just as well to terrorize prospective criminals away from a life of crime.
The death penalty issue is iconic of something much larger. The more common fate of prisoners is to be medically neglected, assaulted, tortured in a manner not fundamentally different than Abu Ghraib (e.g., sensory deprivation, e.g. stress positions), and so on. The people who form the bulk of the prison population have the weakest psychological defenses. Many become mentally ill in prison.
Most prisoners are not very lovable people before they get into trouble, and few are lovable after they have developed a good case of PTSD. But thank God for a Diane Wilson to visit with them. That lady will be among the first in the Kingdom.
More blogs about politics.