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Can a Supreme Sing a Different Song?

Howsoever one may feel about Justice Clarence Thomas – I, frankly, find him fascinating – one must have feelings about this story from Solitary Watch, by way of truthout. The reticent reactionary’s rightful shock and anger over his nephew’s poor treatment at the hands of Louisiana hospital staff may augur changes in his view of prisoners and the mentally ill, who are all too often one and the same.

Our jails are now the largest mental health facilities in the nation, and they are filled with people who are there because they exhibited behavior common to untreated mental illness, including drug abuse, assault, and ‘quality of life’ crimes.”

Reality is but a tissue compared to ideology, of course, and Justice Thomas may never change his mind about what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. However he soon may have more opportunities to revisit those views. If other states cut services with the alacrity that North Carolina has, how long can it be before someone seeks redress in the courts?

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