Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Guest Column: Treat mentally ill, not just lock them up

Two hundred and twenty-six years ago, the Federalists were having trouble getting the states to ratify the new Constitution of the United States. The anti-Federalists, led by Samuel Adams, John Hancock and Patrick Henry, feared the proposed constitution did not adequately protect the individual rights of the common man.

As a result, James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights. The rest is history.

This history is playing out in real time as federal District Court Judge William Barbour must decide whether to order sweeping changes at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility (EMCF) just east of Meridian.

The Eighth Amendment of the Bill of Rights bans “cruel and unusual” punishments. The question is whether the mentally ill prisoners at EMCF have been subject to cruel and unusual punishments.

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