The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly forbids the cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners. Conceptually drawing upon the civil rights concerns found in the English Bill of Rights (1689), the language reads in the American case: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Unbeknown to many, as the corporate media has been downplaying this news, within a minuscule distance from the American seat of the federal government are approximately 1,500 detained individuals being subjected to prison standards that arguably equate “cruel and unusual punishments.” To make matters far worse, there is a political and ideological underpinning, guiding this selective course of inhuman prisoner treatment in the District of Columbia’s (D.C.) jail.
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. local government are the responsible entities for the nefarious conditions that are discriminately being applied to the January 6th rioters held in cells within their legal jurisdiction. The mentioned over 1,500 inmates are confined to their cells for 22 hours a day. Of those, around 300 are held in solitary confinement. D.C. authorities categorize this smaller group as being under a “medical stay-in-place” policy. The D.C. Department of Corrections guidelines exclusively formulates this isolation extremity treatment for prisoners that fall under the condition of “sexual predators,” individuals engaged in “assaultive behavior,” “likely to be exploited or victimized by others,” and/or possess any “other documented special need.”
Some health experts are calling this a “human rights violation”. Others, like legal counsel Marty Tankleff, who represents Edward Lang and Dominic Pezzola, two defendants held in the D.C. compounds, points to the difficulty of even conducting client-attorney privileged meetings in this restrictive ambiance. Tanklef stated that “Your ability to participate in your own defense” is not extended to his January 6th defendants, adding that this questionably unconstitutional infringement could be grounds for an appeal. Conveying his professional opinion on the appalling conditions to which his clients, as well as the other U.S. Capitol Building siege defendants, are subjected, Tanklef added “This is not normal. It’s not normal to isolate people and make them eat on their floor”.
Some lawmakers have taken notice of the cruel punishment in D.C. jails
Catching many by surprise, even Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have criticized the confinement of the January 6th breach. “Solitary confinement,” stated Warren, “is a form of punishment that is cruel and psychologically damaging,” Yet, despite these rare instances of breaking with the partisan lines which today are feverishly ideological, the Democrats and Republicans are fiercely divided over the classification of the January 6th incident and, to a more profound sense, the categorization of “domestic terrorism” strictly along racial and ideological lines. In other words, terrorists acts being exclusively extended to supposed “white supremacists” and/or “white nationalists” groups, but not the leftist Marxist movements like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa.
The left-leaning mass media has insisted, from day one, on labeling the U. S. Capitol Building breach as an “insurrection.” The Associated Press, for example, has made it a staple of their vocabulary when referencing this incident. The fact that not a single case of the arrested during the January 6th riot has been charged with insurrection, sedition, or anything remotely parallel to an attempt to overthrow the U. S. government, has had no bearing on the correcting of this absurd classification of the U. S. Capitol Building infraction as an “insurrection” by the leftist media. The additional and seminal point that no firearms were discovered among the persons arrested, has not modified the “insurrection” mythological fallacy. An insurrection without weapons would be pretty silly.
What best explains the arbitrary abuse of the January 6th defendants held in captivity pending trials or sentencing is ideological adherence by those in power. Today the left-owned Democrats, hold control over the executive and legislative branches. Potentially, if they get their way, the judicial could also follow suit. The “insurrection” narrative fits the left-wing conspiracy of “white supremacy” nonsense. This is what the Marxist Critical Race Theory tells us. Thus, those held in D. C. prisons related to the U. S. Capitol Building siege are but pawns in a bigger matter.
If lawlessness and insurrection issues were the concern of today’s Democratic Party, they would call for the prosecution of the over 600 BLM/Antifa rioters that inflicted over $2 billion in property damage, 2,000 policemen injured and scores of deaths. It does not. That is because the BLM/Antifa terrorism is communist-inspired. Inconveniently for the January 6th inmates, they are not leftist and justice is today driven by ideology.
©The Cuban American Voice. Originally published in @El American. All rights reserved.
🖋️Author Julio M. Shiling
🖋️Author Julio M. Shiling
Julio M. Shiling is a political scientist, writer, columnist, lecturer, media commentator, and director of Patria de Martí and The CubanAmerican Voice. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida. He is a member of The American Political Science Association and The PEN Club (Cuban Writers in Exile Chapter).
- Cruel and Unusual Punishment
- D. C. Jails
- No One Is Talking About
- Eighth Amendment
- United States Constitution
- forbids cruel and unusual treatment
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