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Va. cancels death row visit change

The Virginia Department of Corrections has canceled plans to end face-to-face visits between death row inmates and their families.

Spokesman Larry Traylor said Friday the department decided against changing the policy to require all death row visits be done via video beginning Sept. 1.

Traylor would not say why the department changed its plans, but said it would continue to review the policy “as well as other related issues and technical capabilities.”

Virginia would have been only the second death penalty state to end face-to-face visits.

Inmates' families and prisoner advocates condemned the planned policy change, calling it “cruel and unnecessary.”

Traylor said video-only visitation was implemented for inmates in segregation on Aug. 1 and will remain in effect.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  August 27, 2010; 4:34 PM ET
Categories:  Death Penalty , Prison Beat , Virginia  
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It's a rare day when you hear of a US prison system deciding NOT to treat its inmates less humanely.

No country keeps more of its citizens in cages than the USA -- one percent of American adults are behind prison bars tonight, a rate five times higher than in 1970. And none of the other advanced Western democracies even practice the death penalty anymore.

It's sad to see how barbaric we Americans are compared to our European peers; in a single generation, our judicial system has regressed while other countries have moved forward; and despite (because?) of our harshest-in-the-Industrialized-world punishments, we still have higher violent-crime rates, lower life-expectancy, and lower quality-of-life than our Western European peers. It's a depressingly predictable result of our system of 30-second-ad-driven elections, where politicians compete to be "tougher on crime" than the next guy, with absurdly counterproductive (but sound-bite-friendly) results.

Posted by: kcx7 | August 28, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

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