Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick has championed the constitutional rights of convicts, demanding they be given juice, clean sheets, cold tuna sandwiches, white underwear, and properly inflated basketballs, reports the Boston Herald. While working as President Clinton's top civil rights lawyer in the mid-1990s, Patrick sent letters to prison officials in several states, alleging violations from inadequate air conditioning and insufficient recreation time to denying cons juice or milk at lunch and requiring inmates to make $2 medical co-payments.
In a 1994 letter, Patrick chastised correction officials in Syracuse, N.Y., for not providing “sufficient sporting/recreation equipment to afford prisoners the opportunity to participate in large muscular activity.” Among the injustices cited were “under inflated basketballs” and “only 1 operative basketball hoop.” The Herald cited Patrick letters on other alleged violations. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut) accused Patrick of heading a “criminal coddling” program under Clinton. Patrick said he “is proud of his work on behalf of President Clinton.”