WEEI>On Demand>>Amy Fettig of the ACLU: Aaron Hernandez is being treated unfairly

Amy Fettig of the ACLU: Aaron Hernandez is being treated unfairly

Jul 9, 2013|

Amy Fettig of the ACLU joined the show to discuss the prison conditions for Aaron Hernandez. She said that his incarceration and solitary confinement is unjust.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Beats tennis in Thailand I spent most of the -- -- -- and I'm never hurt anybody complain that they will. And he said in a single cell by yourself which time tennis I'm very. Almost all those diabetes we've had a lot of guys -- myself locked up 23008. -- if you drop it and run it don't make this thing was going to get Gerry Callahan and I would have bent over backwards I want to open up Abu. Counted out by myself what would -- -- And -- and he's gonna win flowers and when you -- Maria -- other brain well. I'm -- -- three point seven WB. -- for a long term it makes Frankie from southeast say he would help bend over backwards probably no not over front words to up -- cell by himself welcome back our number four. Dennis without Callahan -- minute -- along joining us on the AT&T hotline. AT&T forgy LTE from the American Civil Liberties Union -- Fettig joins us good morning and it's -- Kirk and Boston are you. I had good morning I'm doing well thank. As they are jumping off point here you and the ACLU are involved in something called the national prison project -- -- brief -- so we have a -- foundation from which to work. Sure. We are lawyers was that it the American Civil Liberties Union and we specialize. And prison conditions criminal justice policy. And we're concerned with the civil rights of prisoners everywhere in the country. And so -- -- just how much specifically do you know. About the environment in which Aaron Hernandez is living and how much time he spends -- that sell everyday. I haven't -- into the actual institution where Angel -- is currently being incarcerated but they know a great deal. About solitary confinement unit and protective custody as -- -- just around the country. -- will he is not the end a solitary confinement union unit. And and I'm reading from the national prison project and it's that extreme isolation. And have debilitating psychological effects prisoner of locked alone in solitary confinement may become depressed begin hallucinating. And and yadda yadda -- and on chronicle first of -- It is my understanding based on the Bristol county sheriff's description of his seven by ten foot cell. That has a toilet sink combo a desk and make caught in it. He spends twenty hours a day in that -- three hours outside the cell in your estimation Amy -- is that extreme isolation. It certainly can be. And and it's also true that it. A lot of times folks are put in what's called protective custody and that's the status that Aaron Hernandez is currently being incarcerated and and unfortunately that's the same thing often times as solitary confinement. Which we use for disciplinary purposes or classification -- -- often the same unit. You'll be in protective cut to you that he'll compete in a disciplinary unit. The -- -- conditions where you are interacting in any sort of normal human way with other human beings. And what psychiatric experts talent -- -- studying the phenomenon for the last three decades. Is -- impact human beings in extreme way. And won't -- -- he nationwide individuals were kept in protective custody solitary confinement as disciplinary confinement whatever you wanna call it it's really that came practice. Amy let me -- let me ask -- this -- this is -- -- country get all the time let's just say some guy kills us for four year old daughter in this two year old daughter -- -- his wife on fire. Why don't like here where he spent forty years of his life what he did if it's a two by two boxer or you know -- seven by ten. Why should I -- taxpayer here where that guy if he gets a better environment to expand psychological. It's certainly true that people do terrible things and we get angry at them for doing that but it also true that human beings are human beings. And no matter how we personally feel about them are what are emotional response to it. As a community as a country until a human being -- if -- have responsibility. For treating them like human being. And -- and it's totally understand what people get angry and that maybe don't wanna hear about folks behind bars. But the truth is that not only as Americans. Should we be concerned about human rights of all people. But also individuals come back in 9597%. People inside prison -- Are returning to the community and in everybody's interest to care what happens to them inside because they bring that back to communicate with them but did not only. A human rights policies but it's good public policy and public safety. -- this is where you might go down separate paths I I think when you do certain things in a free society to people who are victims who who do not deserve it. You lose those kind of rights that you're talking about to be treated and in any particular way to have 88 double thick mattress or -- play cards with your. Other cell block members and things like that I am just what and where does the well of sympathy. For the bad guys originate in people like you and the ACLU attorneys. Well I think your original in what American values -- her -- -- -- at least the we can be angry at people and we can take away their freedom which is what we do when we put an impatient and that's a big deal. Deciding saying you're no longer the same tree person. But you do retain. Basic human rights and basic civil right that 1% and that's what Americans can't get kinda are failing car that we need and by that. Even when -- angry at people even when that they've done things that I am wrong -- We as the American people need to stand up for our values even when it's hard to keep up that's when they -- them now. You seem to be that combining. Three kinds of separations in 21 disciplined. Solitary confinement and protective custody in my estimation males -- three while they may end up looking like the same thing. In my estimation and they are three very different things would you prefer that Aaron Hernandez or any other high profile. Inmate be put at rest at risk physically. By being out of the general population so he can kind of hang with this peeps. And risk being physically injured as opposed to being kept safely away from people who would do him physical harm. Just so he doesn't have some sort of psychological damage down the road. Course. They can you know theory being important thing. But what worsening in. That extreme social isolation. Environmental deprivation. Those don't have to result from keeping people -- We need we need and we can't achieve better policy and it's just simple things like and sharing cocaine. Interact with other people. Giving them. Access to exercise and recreation for the get out of -- while ensuring that they have mental health counseling because we know that he would kind results from these type of conditions. Nationwide over 50%. This is -- and prisons and -- Have been in pretty apparent that and I think it's human beings don't react well beaten grade. It's extremely. And catastrophic psychiatric breakdown happened as a result. Taxpayers -- so Amy and I guess my question would be for you in the ideal perfect world what we -- daily life be like for Aaron Hernandez he gets up and what this is from like. Of course we want mr. Hernandez can be safe. And I'm I'm not talking about having the largest not I'm talking about having. Appropriate access. To. Other human being. Does that mean social and -- actually what does that mean what is the -- look like them what is he doing today. I pay you know there and there's no one formulation what needs to happen is a reduction in isolation for that he interacting with the correctional officers. Being able to have a conversation. Having access to mental health counseling if he needed and frankly having mental health professionals monitor. That he is doing okay and setting it's not normal for human beings which is extreme isolation. It should but we should country club that's now what we're talking about it's about maintaining mental health why this -- and an hour's hot as a result of what happened. Authority and is out because by you know by the letter while we don't we sinister guilty boosters say. He's convicted let's just give -- somebody tibia famous convicted guide to the terrible monster. Give you some Jeffrey Dahmer to all safe all or alive I mean you want to homered interacted with psychiatrists and and have meals and have access to things and so beat. How is Jeffrey Dahmer deserves that for this don't you at some point but those rights. Well you always human -- and our -- deeply about a human beings -- I guess is we're just I get two and a half. Did -- did. Disagree that -- human being always a human being. And under our laws under our constitution that eighth amendment which in the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment similar to torture. We as a society -- that our government cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishment. And -- -- on human being and we have to canned by as a value even for angry at people even enforce it scared of them. Fits the definition of -- Re trying to see how -- got but I think you could argue that the language is cruel and unusual punishment is 21 hours in the room by yourself a much -- agreed it's corn usual pop. We -- keep himself the -- -- -- if you heard the the the replay of the sound -- Spent the ninety's spent like a decade plus in jail. He was an 86 by nine cell with three guys that all the in Iraq should be ever want it as that he would he would kill well probably. It would kill -- seven by nine seven by ten foot cell to himself. So so you don't maybe try to shove things down prisoners throws that they don't really want Amy. Here's a reality. People in solitary confinement kill themselves. And they mutilate themselves on a regular -- that it's because frankly in solitary confinement forcing people to lose their mind. And so they kill themselves and they and they hurt themselves and it's our fault not their fault seems to me -- they're making the choice. To do these ridiculous things themselves just as they made the choice to do something illegal and heinous when -- around the free society. Talking about conditions the content people. And lose their mind. And to want to kill themselves to be so hopeless. That life no longer has any meaning as a society we should not place people in that condition. To Jeffrey Dahmer should just a different dollar should have been allowed to exercise should have a treadmill should -- a pool for the played cards Emmys may about being sarcastic and that's what you think great. I believe that everyone is entitled can -- conditions. Mean for the but can you answer my questions are Jeffrey -- martian have been allowed to go to the gym and worked out and hang out people talk and then. Go back to his right I mean that's for you an ideal world now. Social interaction necessary and frankly under the law. We have to allow prisoners no matter what they've done are how we feel about them. To have at least five hours of recreation and that's looks extremely low standard but regardless of what he's done. The law does not care about that and and we should not either we should treat human beings and human being. Of course safety and security is important and what -- -- had done the work that if someone is violent or -- dangerous you have to consider that -- -- -- that. Absolutely what we're saying though is that it's our responsibility as being an American people. To ensure that everyone has and humane conditions and that we don't inflict pain and suffering not individuals. We can take away their freedom and put them in prison and jail. And that is at the add to that the hard thing to do an even those conditions don't have to be and yet we're not -- -- country -- they have to be basic humane conditions. Any final question for me I'm an -- and -- what what. Well -- I consider twenty hours today in the sell three hours outside the -- solitary confinement but we have to disagree or agree to disagree on that final question -- What percentage of time. Would you estimate that ACLU people spend thinking about victims and their families as opposed to the bad guys. We are. Concerned with everybody. That the right to all American you will find out. Advocating for religious freedom you have kind of advocating for prisoner right we'll -- -- advocating for privacy rights. We care about the rights of all Americans. -- sales -- -- good thank you Amy thanks at least regularly and all the questions all right hey thank you had to make a pathetic in the ACLU. I don't know where this comes from. And I don't think it's real I don't I don't believe that. -- can't -- Amy got bluster whenever she's upset that that Romney lost you look around him in the nutritious substance of -- -- They should vote for Scott Scott Brown I you know. Listen. It is I repeat that question well where where does this this this well. So reservoir this reservoir of goodwill. For people who have Ed as you said -- -- away. Their rights to have anything other than you know three squares a day -- a roof over their debt that is that is a reality deal. Is that there are sometimes very rarely but sometimes guys report prison for the wrong reasons they wrongly convicted right yeah we've absolutely and it sucks for those guys in they've spent situations like this. It's of these people wrapped their arms around but the reality is for every one of those guys. There's whatever X number thousands of horrible. Awful human these famous people we know -- All these guys in jail that they've killed their kids yeah they've killed a -- -- to kill their wives if you'll just random people just for -- in these guys should be allowed to against get up. Hang out talk with the guys catch up legacy game last yeah -- have been on the maybe Nike VR but yet. And they go to the gym we can work out pickets went into angled some more than go back to kidnap -- dinner. You know PS some more things go bad. Why we care about right on America and now all Americans central casting now but the voice Alia -- Expert at PR voice. -- sought to Robin ever take a break rob we have. -- -- -- -- -- Well I what's up. And I guess in the district apartment you don't cabbage. I really thanked everyone has came right right -- Q -- -- lived next door to meet people. Assault. Charge and I got -- -- the. This is the alt always the obvious question -- like nine of them show opened the AT&T -- like what if Aaron Hernandez or some criminal had done something. To her son asks the obvious question you know if she didn't she give the the well I think everybody's rights and human being and everybody's you've been. He -- -- other people. Not human exactly you can get your human being part taken away or do you get up early in the morning so you know your tax -- is going to exercise equipment yes -- just visit did not work the first hour for Eric Hernandez -- little balls and New Hampshire. Thank you for putting on that not case. If she epitomizes. The eight BLU. That droning -- -- -- -- She's a moron but I think she's misguided. I think and baker curb her logic in her. Values are skewed I don't think I don't. It averaged one entitled to campaign contention. LeRoy from Quincy is LeRoy -- I LeRoy was up -- are -- -- you ruled by the way audio thanks -- O -- you know. Why -- you take somebody out right away your right should be taken away boy isn't current spot our crew and you. We should not be alert to the -- liberal enough I -- liberal but. Bleeding heart people these people looked -- that can be ability people. They all have had -- coronal. -- -- About 61777979837. We see you just in -- -- rest your phone calls when we get back.

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