In response to the Josef Fritzl case in Austria on which he was sentenced to life imprisonment in a mental hospital, now is the time to enter a debate on whether capital punishment or life without parole to be served in a supermax prison is the appropriate punishment for criminals that fits the worst of the worst profile.

First of all, let me explain what a supermax prison looks like.  A supermax prison has a security clarification that is more secure than a typical maximum security prison and those kinds of prison generally houses terrorists, people convicted of mass murder & child murder and people convicted of other heinous crimes.  Some prisoners are transferred to a supermax prison simply for breaking normal prison rules.

A supermax prison does not operate the same as a normal prison with lower security clarification.  A typical routine sees a criminal locked up in his cell (he has his own cell where he sleeps alone) for 23 hours a day with meals dished to him through a slot in the door.  Just one hour a day is used as exercise time alone for the criminal when he is not in his cell.  The routine is effective throughout the time served in a supermax prison.

The criminal hardly see or interact with other criminals in a supermax prison.  They are not required to work in a supermax unlike in other prisons.  They are only allowed to wander around in their cells alone for 23 hours a days and do some exercise alone in the other hour as mentioned as above.

All the criminals see are prison guards who are usually sadists who commit everlasting mental torture & abuse to the criminals.  A doctor and lawyer is occasionally seen when the need arises.  However the criminals are not allowed to have any communication with the outside world, or to their friends or families at any time.  No computers, televisions or newspapers are provided in supermax prisons.

A supermax prison cell is typically 2 metre cube and is padded (walls & floor is padded skinned with a softer feel) to prevent the criminal from hurting himself.  The cameras are hidden in the walls, floors & ceiling for maximum 24 hour supervision.  It doesn't have a window or natural light, but it have a air conditioning system and the lights never go out but they dim out in the night between 8 pm and 7 am and longer in times of detention.  The only features in the cell is a toilet (padded skinned & remotely controlled), shower (head tap in the ceiling & remotely controlled) and basin (padded skinned & remotely controlled with the taps hidden in basin out of sight), and the criminal lays on the floor to sleep at night.  The exercise room is also windowless with floors & walls also padded skinned with lights that work the same as the cell is a bare room where the criminal can exercise alone for 1 hour. 

Due to the criminal's isolation from most people in a supermax prison, the criminal starts to suffer depression and mental illness and go insane after a short while, and as time goes by the mental illness becomes more chronic to a stage where it becomes very difficult to recover from it.  Often the criminal comes to a stage where he wishes it would end soon, and the criminal wishes there was the death penalty.  Because he has a mental illness, he does not know when the suffering might end.  But the suffering doesn't stop for a long long time to come in some cases, maybe years and even decades being faced with the same routine in the supermax prison.

The sadist guards makes sure the criminal eats every meal & exercise for a hour everyday and beats the criminal with a baton for non-compliance and turns down the lights in his cell til the criminal comply with every rule that the supermax prison sets.

Back in those days when the death penalty was in force, a date was given to a criminal when he will pass away after being punished by the state and the suffering stops on earth the moment the criminal becomes lifeless.  The death penalty in my view serves no purpose because it doesn't punish the criminal enough because of it's quick process.

Serving life without parole in a supermax prison ensures that the criminal is still alive and exists as a human being.  In there the suffering the criminal endures never stops til his last breath at a time that is only known to God.  He is tortured emotionally and mentally from the first minute he served at a supermax prison and not only does he go insane after a short while, he rots in a very slow manner to a point where he breaks down and passes away at a undetermined date.

Some criminals serving time in a supermax prison may live to their 70s, 80s and in rare cases 100 years old.  There were calls by some people to force criminals to live past 100 years & more and serve time in supermax prisons.  Currently some scientists are trying to make them live immortally and serve time in a supermax prison at the same time but it remains to be seen if it will work.

Either way no matter when the criminal passes away, he is made to endure endless misery, torture and suffering for a long period of time while still alive and existing as a human being residing in a supermax prison cell, and that is far worse than the death penalty because with the death penalty the criminal does not suffer on earth after he was punished by death.  Because with the death penalty when the criminal is lifeless other guards cannot torture him anymore.

Lastly I know most people would favour capital punishment for criminals of the worst of the worst range but after I did some research on supermax prisons I am of the view that the death penalty serves no purpose.  What does it achieve?  Nothing in my view.  I feel that a stint in a supermax prison for life would act as a strong deterrent to other criminals from doing heinous crimes in the future.  Once in a supermax prison the criminal doesn't know what has hit him until it is too late, and once he goes insane it becomes very difficult to recover from the effects of isolation as time goes by.  It is in fact even more painful especially as he is still alive.

If you wish to do some research on supermax prisons feel free to google & search on the internet.  I cannot give you sources as my sources may differ from other sources, but if searched and googled on the internet, people get the idea of how a supermax prison works.

William Walker