Texas Death Row Prisoners Sue State Due to “Unjustifiably Severe” Conditions

Prisoners on Texas’ execution row are suing the state, claiming it is unlawful to keep them in solitary confinement for the duration of their measured lives with scant medical attention, no consideration for their emotional anguish, and few opportunities to seek legal assistance.

Severe Condition Inside Prison

The case, submitted on Thursday in a federal court in Houston, asserts that the detainees’ prolonged isolation violates their right to counsel and medical care and seriously harms their physical and mental health.

The plaintiffs, all convicted of capital murder, the only crime in Texas that can result in the death penalty, now claim that the conditions on death row are “unjustifiably severe.” Four condemned inmates filed the complaint on Thursday, requesting that it be expanded by the court to include everyone on Polunsky’s death row, according to a ksat.com report. 

The prisoners have spent between seven and 22 years in solitary confinement; two men had previously spent time on less-restrictive death row. The seven women given death sentences in Texas are being held at another facility.

Most Inhumane in the Country

Prisoners in Texas claim the isolating circumstances on death row are against American law. the Constitution’s ban on cruel or unusual punishment. According to the complaint, those who have received a death sentence are placed in solitary confinement purely because of their sentence, not due to any particular assessment of their conduct or inmate behavior, a source posted. 

The prisoner’s legal team, Hogan Lovells, has stated that Texas’ death row facilities have been dubbed the most horrific in the nation and that the state has a sizable death row population.

The inmates contend that they are not given adequate access to their attorneys because they are on death row. Death row prisoners are often not allowed visits other than over the phone through a Plexiglas film, despite the fact that they have the right to private consultations with their attorneys.