So long Old Sparky, hello ‘death chair’

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For those saddened by the imminent demise of the electric chair, fear not. A new type of chair is already filling the void as the most feared piece of furniture in US prisons, THE PROGRESSIVE reports.

The restraint chair — better known to inmates as the “devil’s chair,” “torture chair,” or “slave chair” — is designed to subdue violent prisoners who pose a threat to themselves or others. But, according to a wide array of sources, a trip to the chair can be a lot worse than a simple “time-out.”

At least 11 prisoners died under questionable circumstances after being strapped to restraint chairs; prisoners have been tortured, pepper-sprayed and beaten in the chairs and left in the chairs virtually unable to move for as long as eight days; inmates and detainees have been stripped down and strapped into the chairs nude.

Recently, Amnesty International called for a federal investigation into the use of the restraint chair.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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