Paul Manafort, right, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, arrives at Federal District Court for a hearing, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Washington. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Sometimes a story shows up that just…exists. I’m here for it, but still can’t quite process what I’m reading.
That happened this morning when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the Twitter to let it be known that Paul Manafort is being moved to solitary confinement on Rikers Island, which is in her district, and she’s not happy about it.
This apparently clashes with her view of the prison system.
Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district – Rikers Island.
A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is.
Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary. https://t.co/9rERLDSzrD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
I’m not sure solitary confinement is a human rights violation if used properly, but oddly enough, I kind of agree with her. Giving that kind of power to the government ultimately just leads to abuse and there have been many horror stories out of the prison system of guards and wardens misusing their authority.
While the desire for punishment or revenge is often pervasive in criminal situations, it’s probably for the best that we air on the side of caution in regards to locking people away in 23-27 hour cycles.
With that said, AOC seems to have missed some of the details here because it doesn’t look like Manafort is actually headed to solitary confinement.
As the New York City Department of Corrections has made clear Manafort is not going to "solitary confinement".
That's a punitive designation.
He may have his own cell for safety reasons but it isn't a 27 hour lockdown and it isn't the same conditions as "solitary". https://t.co/IFLPBSCmJR
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) June 5, 2019
He’s going into protective custody, which will isolate him from the general population, but it’s not for reasons of punishment. It’s possible that his legal team requested the move. Manafort is an old man convicted on white collar crimes. Prison isn’t a kind place to people like that.
As I noted the day he was sentenced, the blood lust among the left was pretty gross. People were calling for his death, lifetime imprisonment, torture, etc. all because he was connected to Donald Trump. Had he not been part of the campaign, Manafort would not have even been charged. The FBI had punted on going after him years before.
I don’t care what someone thinks of Paul Manafort, his treatment by the government was simply over the top. The no knock raids, SWAT teams, and trying to put him away for 30+ years were all indicative of a largely political overreach. In the end, both judges slapped down the excesses and Manafort was given a much lighter sentence than the liberal media were cheering for.
Even though AOC missed it on some of the facts here, I’ll actually give her credit for attempting to hold a consistent principle when it comes to mistreatment at the hands of the government. That’s more than can be said for some on the anti-Trump right, who were actively celebrating the possible move of Manafort to solitary confinement when the story first broke.
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