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two-legislator submarine. Then, Sen. Ralph Yarborough was in India for meetings of the Interparliamentary Union. Delegates made a side trip to Moscow during that period, which just shows how far Texas has come in ten years. During the 1950’s Ralph wouldn’t have even dared show up at the Texas AFL-CIO’s offices in Austin; and now here he is on. the eve of a reelection campaign going to Moscow, confident that his opponents won’t dare given the Changing Texas social and political climate allege that Yarborough was in the Russian capital seeking Rubles for Ralph. People and Time Bill Porterfield, the Austin writer, reported in the Houston Chronicle the other day that the University of Texas regents conservative chairman, Frank C. Erwin, Jr., once was in the corner of the liberal Homer P. Rainey. This was in the Tears in My Eyes Thank you for printing “A Death at Huntsville” [Obs., Dec. 5] . I could not read it without tears in my eyes for the situation itself and also for knowing that it is only one of multitudes of cries which are not heard.. .. And thank you for printing the story of a “little man.” Prisons are full of “little” men who have not the opportunity to be heard. Where does a man or a man’s family \(if the man being abused by a cold machine which our society has created and accepts as “right?” .. I share in the guilt for [this] death, and I share in the frustration of not knowing what to do about it. … I can care, I can shake .my head and say “What a shame!,” but I want to do more. I ,believe there are many others like me. What can we do? Ginger Miles, 3500 Granada, Dallas, Tex. 75205. A Disappointment I expect, and usually feel that I get, fairly objective reporting from the Observer. “A Death in Huntsville” was quite a disappointment in this respect. The style is that of the sentimental t e a r-j e r ker that one encounters late 1940’s when Erwin was the president of the campus fraternity association and Rainey was in the process of being cut loose by the UT regents. Erwin, when Rainey was fired by Erwin’s predecessors on the board, wrote a letter to the regents “damning” them. And Erwin helped Rainey when the former UT president was the liberals’ unsuccessful candidate for governor. This reminded me of the intriguing item I happened across a couple of years ago, when John Connally, as governor and as President Johnson’s loyal supporter, was speaking out against the peace movement and in favor of the nation’s Vietnam war policy. Connally was’ the president of the UT-Austin student association when it voted a resolution calling for the abolition of the ROTC from the campus. Porterfield concludes that time often changes people and their views; the frozen positions that are held by Erwin and the students, each towards the other, is unfortunate because “none of us is ever going to get together this way,” Porterfield says. G.O. frequently in the daily press, aimed at readers of True Confessions, movie magazines, and the like… . An analysis of the few facts reported in the article yields no convincing evidence that [Armando] Hernandez did or did not commit suicide. There surely is enough evidence to justify a thorough investigation of the incident, but it is obvious that [writer John] Rechy has already reached his conclusion. By his emotional appeal, he seeks to impose his bias on the reader as well.. .. Dr. Beto’s shifty-eyed reply to Rechy did more to convince me of hanky-panky at Huntsville than all of Rechy’s ragged rhetoric…. James 0. Moses, Box 395, Alto, Tex. 75925. Cruel and Unusual It is time that attention be focused on the cruelty inherent in solitary confinement as imposed in our jails and prisons. John Rechy’s account of the death of Armando C. Hernandez, apparently by suicide, when so confined in the Ellis Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections depicts the barbarity of this practice more poignantly and graphically than anything I have yet read on the subject. . . . [T]he explanation [for the nondelivery of mail to Hernandez] is so simple. Individuals in punitive segregation can neither send or receive mail, not even from their attorney or from the courts. No visits are allowed \(except solitary is thus completely cut off from the prison population and the outside world. This fact is a matter of public record and is freely admitted by Dr. Beto. To describe it briefly, “solitary” is being locked in a “dark hole” \(as the of windows or light of any kind. The typical cell is 3’8″ x 9′ x 7’5″, and the walls and floor are constructed of concrete. There are double. doors, one of steel bars, and a second of solid steel. The cell is bare except for a metal bunk a toilet-sink combination. The prisoner may be naked or may have a so-called “gown,” as did Mr. Hernandez; otherwise he possesses nothing and is without means of maintaining cleanliness. The and water each day with one meagre dish of food every 72 hours. Fifteen days is the maximum time recommended for solitary confinement according to prison guidelines; but the practice is to open the solid outer door after two weeks, feed the prisoner regular meals for two days, then close the door for another two weeks during which the same restricted diet is maintained, which by this time approaches starvation. And this may be repeated again and even again. All this time the person is in utter darkness with nothing, to do; no one to talk to one can only think. Confinement in a dungeon-like cell in Tennessee similar to those used by the Texas Department of Corrections was forever enjoined by the federal district court in that state as constituting cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The court said, It is evident that among the many rights secured to state prisoners under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C.A. sec. 1983, one of the .most important is the right to seek relief from cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that contravenes the Eighth Amendment…. the Court finds that the effect of confining plaintiff in the dry cell under the conditions shown to have existed was to subject him to cruel and unusual punishment. … The conditions of his dry cell confinement are such as to make it evident that fundamental concepts of decency did not prevail. Particularly barbaric are the facts that plaintiff is forced to sleep in the nude on a bare concrete floor without even the comfort of a blanket and that he is deprived at all times of adequate light and ventilation. Equally offensive is the fact that he is provided with no means by which he can maintain his personal cleanliness, with the result that he is January 2, 1970 15 Dialogue