Texas death row inmates spend an average of more than 14 years awaiting execution in solitary confinement, posited by UT-Austin researchers as akin to torture, an assessment shared by several human rights organizations.
The study comes amid a
backdrop of prolific capital punishment in Texas, a state that executes more
prisoners than any other state - by far. This year alone, 4 people have been put
to death through the use of the drug Pentobarbital for various crimes:
Christopher Wilkins, 48, executed Jan. 11; Terry Darnell Edwards, 43, executed
Jan. 26; Rolando Ruiz, 44, put to death on March 7; and James Bigby, 61,
executed March 14 (Source: Death Penalty Information Center).
The 4 prisoners put to
death this year all had been awaiting execution for years, and in once case
decades. Wilkins had the shortest wait at 8 years, while Bigby sat on death row
for 25 years, according to data collected by the Death Penalty Information
The prisoner with the
longest time on death row is Raymond Riles, who has been sitting on death row
for more than 41 years. Due to mental illness, he was previously considered
ineligible to be executed, but prison officials said he could become eligible
given continual testing of his mental state. In 1985, Riles attempted suicide by
setting his prison cell on fire.
I have nothing to add to this damming report, except to say, again, that the prisoners in Texas are kept in solitary confinement ALL the time. "My" prisoner is currently in despair.