Sick, sick, sick. Ezra links to a report from Human Rights Watch on prison rape, including the first-person account of a man doing time for DUI offenses who was serially gang-raped and essentially told by prison officials that they couldn’t (read “wouldn’t”) do anything about it. Their best advice? Find a tough guy you can tolerate having sex with and arrange to be his bitch. If throwing someone into a lion pit unarmed counts as a death sentence, then there’s no real way around the conclusion that the American justice system is knowingly sentencing people to routine rape—itself a drawn out form of capital punishment given the prevalence of HIV in many prisons.
Tom Palmer had a solid op-ed on this topic back in 2001, and Ezra has a follow-up. There would be massive public outcry if the courts were openly sentencing people to repeated rape, but do it with a wink, a nod, a cluck of the tongue, and a sad shrug, and we seem not to care much.