Federal Judge Green-Lights Suit Over Inmate’s 27-Year Solitary Confinement
Posted Mar 25, 2010 11:34 AM CDT
By Martha Neil
A federal judge has given the green light to litigation being pursued by University of Denver law students on behalf of an inmate held in solitary confinement since 1983.
District Judge Philip Brimmer this week rejected a motion by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to dismiss inmate Tommy Silverstein's constitutional case for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted, reports the Denver Post.
The District of Colorado suit contends that Silverstein's 27-year solitary confinement—the longest such term being served by any federal inmate in the United States, according to his lawyers—constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. constitution.
Silverstein's record-breaking solitary stint was the result of an unusual no-contact order by a federal judge in 1983, after the inmate murdered a federal prison guard in Marion, Ill., explains CNN.
Silverstein spends much of his time writing letters and has recently learned to crochet, the news network reports.