37 years in solitary confinement is enough for inmate from Philly, judge rules

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 09/20/16: “HARRISBURG – In a case that trained a spotlight on the state’s corrections practices, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that a convicted murderer from Philadelphia who has spent nearly 37 years in solitary confinement must be transitioned into the prison’s general population.

Judge Christopher C. Conner said prison officials’ decision to keep Arthur Johnson in ‘institutional exile’ for decades in an ‘area smaller than the average horse stall’ at the state prison at Frackville because they thought he was a security threat was flawed.

‘Astoundingly, Mr. Johnson continues to endure this compounding punishment, despite the complete absence of major disciplinary infractions for more than a quarter century,’ Johnson, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, wrote in a 26-page ruling.”

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