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Poor treatment of DiMasi is a case of inhumanity

RE “Inadequate health care for inmate Sal Dimasi is a crime too many convicts suffer”: Bravo to Yvonne Abraham for her June 28 Metro column. It reminded us that there is compassion and dignity that goes with being a human being, and that even prisoners are entitled to this compassion and dignity when it comes to life-threatening illnesses.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote, “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” On the basis of inmate Salvatore DiMasi’s treatment and that of other prisoners, it would seem our civilization has gone down a few degrees.

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No question the former Massachusetts House speaker violated the public trust, broke the law, was convicted, and was duly sentenced for his crime. But he should still be treated with a measure of humanity. To allow any inmate to languish with spreading cancer while the prison system moves at a snail’s pace to decide what to do, let alone treat him, is unconscionable.

I realize that the ability to provide treatment may be tied to shrinking government revenues, the nature of the economy, and bureaucratic procedures that have no feelings.

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Regardless of those impediments, we should face the issue. In the end, it’s not about any single inmate; it’s about humanity.

Donald J. Zollo Sr.

Saugus

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