News 06.19.12

Exonerated Prisoners Speak out on Solitary Confinement

At a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing today exploring solitary confinement as inhumane treatment, a death row exoneree testified, and six others submitted written testimony. Anthony Graves spent 18 years in Texas prisons for a murder he didn’t commit. Graves testified to the horrors of his experience of extreme isolation: “Solitary confinement makes our criminal justice system criminal….It dehumanizes us all.”

The Innocence Project also submitted testimony from just a few of the many exonerated people who spent time in solitary confinement. Julie Rea, of Illinois, describes being tormented by an audio cassette of a women screaming; Nick Yarris, of Pennsylvania’s death row, tells of his own suicide attempt during his 23 years in solitary confinement; and Clarence Elkins describes being numb while being released because he had endured three months of solitary confinement just before his exoneration.

Read their testimony.

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