A death row question.

I read about the death penalty senence given in Connecticut. The guy will spend years, maybe decades, in prison before the sentence is carried out. I choose not to state my stand on the death penalty because I don’t want to start a debate.
I’m wondering if day to day life on death row is any easier than it is in general population. Is it safer? Less crowded?

In Texas, Death Row is pretty much the same as administrative segregation or “ad seg”, close to what a layman would call solitary confinement, although it’s not exactly that. At the most restrictive custody level, offenders spend 23 out of 24 hours a day in a 10x7 single occupancy cell, with an hour out for recreation.

I won’t say safer, but it is generally less crowded. The guys postpone their sentences by making appeals, and typically either live out their lives there or just get tired and stop making appeals and get executed. But interestingly enough, a very small percentage of people get on death row, and most of them are separate from the general population in most penetentiaries.

Can you read to kill the time? If so, any restrictions? Any max per unit time? (e.g. one book per week)

Welcome to the “out” side of the SDMB, meaning those who are not just lurking. :slight_smile:
Anyway, are they in general population for a while before going to death row? When do they go to actual death row?
I understand there are likely many different policies at different prisons.

It probably depends on the prison.

They can access legal material regularly, and they have some in cell access to recreational library materials delivered from the library if their custody level allows for it due to good (or lack of bad) behavior.

In Texas they go straight to Death Row as soon as they’re in the prison system. They’re never in general population unless they go to Death Row for killing someone there.

Most prisoners would consider death row much worse than regular prison. It’s very similar (as has already been said) to administrative segregation / protective custody / solitary confinement et al., and those are commonly forms of incarceration used as punishment within prison itself.

Even persons who need to be housed that way for their own protections (people that leave gangs and et cetera) tend to only go there when they essentially have no other options, because it really is much less pleasant than general population.

…Or something like that.

But I guess that doesn’t cover most of us, huh? Most of us have at least some need to socialize - or at least for some kind of stimulation outside of our own head - hm?

Eh. I’ve long held the belief that I will never go to jail, for anything. Anything I’d go to jail for is worth dying for first. (Yes, I know, it sounds dramatic. It isn’t.)

But it is the other people that would make it hard for me; to me, the idea of isolation is a helluva lot better. Working at a level 4 facility <no death row, but everything up to it> hasn’t changed my mind about that at all.

Solitary is a punishment. It generally is a “short term” (length varies) meaning you get a cot, blanket, a low level light and a lot of time to think about what you did.

Death row is a form of Isolation. Isolation is not solitary. You have all the rights afforded to any prisoner in a general population. You can have visitors, make phone calls, read, have a TV, radio, (whatever items are permitted by the general prison population, they can also have).

The only difference is you don’t mix. You sit in your cell and each day you’re permitted a time to exercise, shower etc. This varies from time to time and lenght varies.

Solitary is a punishment, you have only the basic rights, (right to eat, medical attention etc). Isolation you’ve all the same rights as a general prisoner except you don’t mix.

Well, I’ve changed my mind. I’m never going to jail. I’m not going to rob that bank, nor am I going to shoot my ex-wife (of 30+ years). :wink:
Love her still, kinda.
mangeorge (straight arrow)