Former Black Panther wins settlement and reprieve from solitary confinement | News | The Guardian

eu.ixquick-proxy.com_2016-07-13_11-23-08.jpgFormer Black Panther wins settlement and reprieve from solitary confinement | News | The Guardian – Russell “Maroon” Shoatz was convicted in 1970 of first-degree murder for an attack on a Philadelphia police station that left one officer dead and another wounded. He earned his nickname that refers to escaped slaves in North and South America after he twice broke free from prison. By the 1980s Shoatz shifted his efforts to win release by lobbying lawmakers to repeal sentences of life without parole. He became president of the Pennsylvania Association of Lifers in 1983 and was placed in solitary confinement for several years. He was again placed in solitary in 1991, where he remained until 2014 after successfully finishing a step-down program. In his deposition, Shoatz describes having “approximately 84 square feet of floor space” in his restrictive housing unit cell, but notes “the presence of the steel bunk, and toilet diminished the actual area wherein one could walk” to about 58 square feet. Rubber strips lined his cell door and sealed him inside for 23 hours a day. His lights remained on at all times, and he faced an invasive strip-search each time he left.

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