Trump Supporters Claim J6 Defendant Suicided Due To Conditions Of Jail He Wasn't In

Trump Supporters Claim J6 Defendant Suicided Due To Conditions Of Jail He Wasn't In
Prison Jail Cell | A jail cell with the jail bars. Feel free… | Flickr

On Friday, news broke that January 6 defendant Mark R. Aungst had committed suicide while awaiting sentencing — a fact that was brought to my attention by none other than celebrated MAGArtist Jon McNaughton. McNaughton wrote "I call this painting 'Solitary Confinement' and we all know why. Heartbreaking to see another suicide related to J6." in a response to a tweet featuring a painting he did of a man sitting in solitary confinement while wearing a MAGA hat.

In the thread featuring the painting, Twitter user "Golden Advice" expressed his anger over the Aungst's suicide, writing "Where's the outrage? Faux News pretends that innocent and entrapped political DC gulag prisoners don't even fucking exist!!!"

Except the thing is, while it is very sad whenever anyone commits suicide, Aungst wasn't in solitary confinement. He wasn't even in jail. He had been released on his own recognizance. He was living in his home, waiting to be sentenced, and had been there for a year.

That's not really what's bothering me here though. What's bothering me is that all of these people dare to complain about the conditions of US prisons when they are the very reason why our prisons are horrific to begin with. And I wouldn't even be all that bothered by that, either, if it made them start caring about what is happening in our jails and prisons to all incarcerated people, because I will take what I can get in that regard. But nope! Many of them are insisting that these people are being treated worse than everyone else. Clearly, they have no idea how "everyone else" is treated.

In 2018, the last year for which there is data available, there were 311 suicides in state prisons. Those are people who are actually incarcerated, not just awaiting trial. It's more than double the number of homicides (120) that occurred that same year. According to Mental Health America, about half of the 2.3 million prisoners in the United States have documented mental health conditions and very few of them receive any kind of treatment at all. Half don't even get access to the medications they were on before they came to prison. And do not get me started on how hard it can be to get someone to be allowed to have their medication when they are in a city jail.

But they don't care because it's not them.

There are 76,000 children tried, prosecuted and sentenced as adults a year in the United States. That means that children are subjected to the same conditions their precious J6 defendants. And they're fine with that. In fact, when progressive prosecutors don't try children as adults, don't put them in adult jails, don't put them in adult prisons, they get very, very mad and try to oust them (successfully or not).

But they don't care because it's not them or someone they identify with.

No other country in the whole world does this ...

But they don't care because it's not them or someone they identify with.

They only care when it's them or someone they identify with.

This is not to say that there are not a lot of carceral Democrats out there. There certainly are. But there are fewer of them and they're not quite as "Everything should be Gitmo and also Gitmo should be worse!" about things. Some of them may also just fear getting Dukakis-ed by Republicans accusing them of being "soft on crime."

Overall, Republicans, both in terms of policy and rhetoric, are more responsible for our prison system being the way it is. They demand it, they complain when it's not cruel enough, they fear "coddling" prisoners. Just Google "coddling prisoners" and you'll see what I mean, though you probably already know. These same people who are crying about the J6 defendants are going to be demanding harsher treatment for other prisoners within days if not minutes.

But it sure would be nice if everyone could care, even if it's not them or someone they identify with.

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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