In response to "Hunger Pangs" ("Mailbox," July 25) — a commentary on the hunger strikes in California prisons:
It is true that many (not all) of the prisoners locked in long-term solitary confinement have committed terrible crimes. It is true that a number of them have committed the most heinous acts, and through whatever situation and circumstance have permanently lost their humanity. Solitary confinement for more than 15 days is considered torture by the United Nations. Prolonged solitary confinement — especially the specifically brutal conditions at Pelican Bay and other California prisons — is torture by any definition, a most heinous crime itself. It is also ineffective, usually unnecessary, and more expensive to house someone in solitary confinement. The biggest cost, however, is to our own humanity — a terrible thing to lose.
Beverly Titus, Eureka
In response to Susan Dodd's letter regarding the hunger strike at Pelican Bay:
"I hope all those guys starve to death." Really? Wow!!
Billie Crowley, Trinidad