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The Washington Post
July 1, 2015
“VIOLENTLY INSANE,” the Supreme Court wrote in 1890 of prisoners who had experienced solitary confinement. “The edge of madness, perhaps . . . madness itself,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy echoed 125 years later. Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion last month in Davis v. Ayala all but invited a legal challenge to the age-old practice of holding prisoners in near-total isolation. Such a challenge is overdue: Solitary confinement is incontestably cruel but unfortunately far from unusual.
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