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The Living Hell of Federal Prison

Yesterday, Judge Jack Weinstein was publicly bellyaching that he'd been caught with his pants down (as it were) by the Second Circuit, as it turned back his attempt to mangle the Eighth Amendment beyond recognition.  See my post here.  In the course of berating the higher court for its savagery, he observed that sending the defendant  --  a pornography distributor and admitted child molester --  to jail for five years rather than two and a-half was the equivalent of "human sacrifice."  Go look at his memorandum; you won't have to read far.

Just this afternoon, by coincidence, the Wall Street Journal is carrying the story of another "non-violent offender" who was sent to federal prison for about the same amount of time the pornographer, a man now in his early twenties, will be serving. The now ex-prisoner is former QWest CEO Joe Nacchio.  

Nacchio orchestrated a breathtaking swindle, but that's not the point here.  The point is that, at age 59 or 60, he was sent to the slammer.  This makes him a bit less than 40 years older than the pornography defendant will be when he enters.  How did Nacchio do trying to survive the equivalent of human sacrifice?  

Here's how the WSJ story begins:

Former telecommunications company chief executive Joseph Nacchio entered prison in 2009 out of shape, depressed and anxious.

Fifty-four months later, Mr. Nacchio, 64 years old, who once ran Qwest Communications International Inc., has emerged physically unrecognizable from his pre-incarceration life.

Prison appears to have shaved years off his looks. He has broad shoulders from a daily regimen of lifting weights and 5-mile walks and runs. He has a goatee and his head, formerly covered with black hair, is completely shaved and tan. He says his blood pressure and cholesterol are lower than when he entered prison and his body fat has dropped dramatically. He thinks he looks like actor Edward Norton on his federal Bureau of Prisons identification card.

If you were wondering what a survivor of human sacrifice looks like, here it is:


Maybe Judge Weinstein should sign up.  For than matter, maybe I should too.  Our culture may be deteriorating in the Modern Age, but human sacrifice never looked better.

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