Just five weeks after Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Odin Lloyd, the former New England Patriots star was reportedly involved in an alleged gang-related prison brawl at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Facility— in Shirley, Massachusetts.
According to CNN, Hernandez acted as a lookout for an inmate who went into a cell to fight with another inmate. All three men were disciplined for their involvement in the incident that took place on Monday. Massachusetts Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon would not confirm the report, telling CNN that there are regulations in place that prohibit the release of certain inmate information.
After the incident, Hernandez was reportedly placed in solitary confinement — otherwise known as the prison’s Special Management Unit (SMU). How long Hernandez will spend in solitary is unknown, but during his stay, his activities will be limited.
According to the Boston Globe, inmates involved in fights can be sentenced to a short-term stay in the SMU of up to 15 days, but it can be longer. Food is brought to the inmate’s cell, they spend at 23 hours a day locked up, and visits are limited to one adult in a no-contact environment.
“Prisoners in a typical solitary confinement-like setting are locked in a cell for all but an hour a day; during that time they are allowed to exercise or shower. They have a pad and pen, though on rare occasions they may have a radio or television. For the most part, they are by themselves.”
According to Leslie Walker, director of Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, solitary confinement is a “kind of torture” that no inmate does well in.
“Solitary confinement is a kind of torture that no one does well in. The lack of meaningful sensory stimulus and contact drives people mad. It’s very hard time.”
Although Hernandez is currently serving a life sentence after his conviction for first degree murder, court documents seeking to to reduce the verdict to second-degree murder were filed by his legal team last week. If he wins the appeal, a second-degree murder conviction in Massachusetts carries a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years. In addition to the appeal, FOX News reports that a judge may set a date on Thursday in the pending Boston double murder trial.