Bare Life

“…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” 14th Amendment, US Constitution

Stripped of legal status and expelled from the political community, the prisoner is exposed, unconditionally, to the potential of being killed by anyone - police, guard, gang, fellow prisoner or the state.

 

The state decides which lives will be recognized as belonging to the community of political beings and which will be classified only in terms of biological fact. The prisoner’s entire existence is reduced to a BARE LIFE, stripped of every right by virtue of the fact that anyone can kill him without committing homicide.