Death Penalty and Death Row in USA

Fight the Death
Penalty in USA

Living conditions on Death Row

Buried alive - until they execute you

H-Unit, Oklahoma State Penitentiary, McAlester

Pictures taken by Amnesty International

In Oklahoma the death row inmates are virtually placed underground. so that the prisoners receive no natural light or fresh air into the cells they are confined in for 23 hours a day.
Floor level view of a cell. The latch below the door's letters is where food is passed to the prisoners.
The photgraph shows how dark the interior of the cells are.
This is the view looking out from a cell when the door is open. The doors are only opened when a prisoner goes for a visit, to the shower, or to the yard.
The cell bunks are made of concrete to prevent prisoners from making weapons. A combination toilet/sink sits between the bunks. There is no natural light in these cells.

Prisoners are confined to their cells 23 out of 24 hours a day. The only out-of-cell time is 3-times-a-week showers, 3-5 times a week one hour 'recreation' in an enclosed concrete yard, weather permitting, some limited access to the law library, and visits (if the prisoners are lucky enough to have visitors). Visiting hours vary, and most have 'non-contact' visiting arrangements - visiting family and friends through plexiglass, talking via a 'phone' unit.
On the back wall of the cell, each prisoner has two shelves on which to store belongings.
All meals are eaten in the cell .

There is no natuaral fresh air ventilation to the cell units.
Some units have some form of air-conditioning, many don't. When it's cold out, they're cold - When it's hot out, they're hot.
And it's usually recirculated air laced with concrete dust and other particles.

There is no work, educational or vocational programs for most death row prisoners, though some do have access to GED studies, without tutoring/aid.

The exercise yard is not really a yard.
It is a concrete box covered by wire so thick rain barely seeps through, even during a downpour. Prisoners never see a tree or a blade of grass. This is the only place where they are exposed to a little sunlight.
And this is where it all ends

Read more in the report from Amnesty International