The Law: Cons as Guinea Pigs

Prisoners today furnish virtually the entire pool of subjects for the initial human testing of all new drugs in the U.S., Author Jessica Mitford reported recently. Not everyone is happy about that fact—least of all Superintendent Hoyt Cupp of the Oregon State Penitentiary. In the Walled Street Bulletin, the prison's newspaper, Cupp argued that the poverty or prisoners as well as the reality of their incarceration meant that it was impossible for them to be truly "free agents" when asked to participate in medical-testing programs. For those reasons, all the Oregon prison's experimentation programs have now been phased out.

Cupp's unusual action...

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