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Abstract

This essay intends to understand the narratives the Supreme Court hears and selects as its own legal discourse, which in turn sheds light on American society’s general perspectives. Specifically, the research presented here aims to answer the following question: how do Supreme Court cases involving solitary confinement reflect the American public’s changing attitudes toward punishment? After careful analysis of legal documents, I argue that the four court cases selected here demonstrate that sentiments have evolved in a way that encourages a system of control as opposed to compassion. This is evident through both the use of language itself and the methods of argument employed, specifically in regard to the question of whose interests should be prioritized, whose discretion ranks superior, and other external factors that the Court may take into consideration.

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