Free Minds & Free Markets

Grandparents in the Gulag: New at Reason

Rather than training prison guards to do hospice work, Americans should ask policy makers to do a better job balancing justice and mercy.

Ron LevineRon LevineDebra Cupp, 60, stood in front of the U.S. Capitol on a hot day in July holding a handmade sign: "Ron Cupp died waiting on compassionate release, Jan. 3, 2017."

Her husband Ron had complained several times to prison doctors about pain in his gut. Each time, he was sent back to his cell with aspirin. When authorities finally examined him more closely, they discovered he had metastatic colon cancer.

Because he was too weak to make it to the prison visiting room, Debra didn't get to see her husband during the last three months of his life. She found out he'd died because the prison chaplain took it upon himself to call her. The Bureau of Prisons would not officially notify her of her husband's death for another two weeks. By that time, his ashes had already arrived in the mail, writes C.J. Ciaramella.

Photo Credit: Ron Levine


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