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Judge calls Connecticut inmate’s death row confinement cruel

HARTFORD — A federal judge has ruled that a man confined for years on Connecticut’s death row for killing a police officer has been subjected to “cruel and unusual” punishment.

The Hartford Court reports that U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill on Wednesday ordered the state to immediately relax Richard Reynolds’ confinement conditions.

Underhill wrote that “The fact that people commit inhumane crimes does not give the state the right to treat them inhumanely,” and called solitary confinement “an extreme form of punishment.”

Underhill ruled that the state Department of Correction should allow Reynolds to socialize with other inmates and have more visitors.

A spokeswoman for the state attorney general says the office is “reviewing the decision and weighing options.”

Connecticut has repealed the death penalty and Reynolds is now serving a life sentence.

 

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