If the wolves in federal lock-up didn’t get to him, Epstein was likely to die from mere exposure to the elements of the American prison system. And so he did.
The horrors of this system were well catalogued by a New York Times investigation that exposed the inhumane conditions Epstein was likely subjected to during his final days housed in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan: isolation, filth, humiliation, with only the rodents and roaches to complain to. These conditions, it’s important to remember, are the same ones faced by all prisoners. Epstein was not singled out for special tortures because of the disgusting nature of his alleged crimes. If anything, the Times revealed, Epstein was better off than most prisoners, because he could pay lawyers to come “consult” with him for 12 hours a day.
We do this to people. We throw them into places like the MCC because they’ve committed or are suspected of committing heinous acts—or, just as often, because they committed lesser offenses while black or brown. Once captured, we allow the system to go on mistreating and neglecting those people of color who cannot afford the lawyers and the appeals necessary to fight mass incarceration. As long as the inhumanity is happening to nonwhite people, white “law and order” types seem okay with it.