SODOM & GOMORRAH: Since September 16, 2007 William Coleman, a Connecticut inmate, has been on an off-and-on hunger strike. The state has repeatedly force fed him.
Coleman, a British citizen, is protesting his incarceration and deportation order through the time-honored hunger strike. He has subsisted by drinking milk, juice, and taking nutritional supplements. At times, he has accepted only water. Coleman has protested in the only way that prisoners have to protest: by refusing food. Since the invention of the prison system, inmates have used the hunger strike to object to abuses at the hands of authorities and to raise awareness of wrongful conviction.
The state has repeatedly force-fed Coleman. They say that these measures were taken to prevent him from dying. His attorney says that Coleman should be left alone, despite Assistant Attorney General Lynn Wittenbrink’s objections.
Wittenbrink is on the brink of being dim-witted. He fears that hunger strikes will place impossible obstacles before officials who want to care for prisoners while maintaining safety and security. Wittenbrink doesn’t understand that a wrongfully convicted prisoner already feels themselves to be uncared for and in danger.
The state Supreme Court is considering the issue while Wittenbrink frets over copycat hunger strikers, which really suggests that inmates have grounds for protest that authorities would otherwise like to silence.