Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Plea Deal Requiring Solitary Confinement in a SuperMax

The New York Times has a fascinating article about a plea deal that included a requirement that the defendant serve his time in solitary confinement.
The plea bargaining was long and difficult. The defendant, Peter Rollock, the leader of a Bronx narcotics gang, had been charged in seven killings.  
Federal prosecutors wanted the death penalty; any plea deal would have to include a mandatory life sentence.  
But prosecutors had another demand: because Mr. Rollock, then 25, had been accused of ordering some of the killings from jail, he would be placed in solitary confinement and barred from communicating with virtually all outsiders.  
Pistol Pete, as Mr. Rollock was known, agreed to the deal, and in late 2000, he was sent to the federal Supermax prison, as the Administrative Maximum, or ADX, facility in Florence, Colo., is known, and where some of the nation’s most infamous criminals are housed. With that, he might have retreated from public view forever. But Mr. Rollock, now 37, has not retreated.  
In his nearly 12 years in isolation at the Supermax, he has maintained a spotless record, his lawyers say. He has spent countless hours taking adult education courses through a closed-circuit television in his cell. He has even written a novel, “Trigga,” described by his lawyers as a cautionary tale for young gangsters. His family self-published the book; it is available on Web sites like Amazon.com.  
Still, Mr. Rollock’s behavior has not led to the most important change he seeks: relaxing the harsh conditions of his confinement and allowing him to enter the prison’s general population.
Read the entire article here.

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