Pa. inmate 'very happy' about order ending 36 years in solitary

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 22, 2016 5:37 AM

State Correctional Institution -- Frackville (Photo courtesy of the state Department of Corrections).

(Harrisburg) -- The lawyer for a midstate inmate who has won a court order freeing him from solitary after 36 years says his client is looking forward to just being with others in the prison yard and taking classes beyond his third-grade education.

 Attorney Bret Grote says 64-year-old Arthur Johnson expressed happiness and gratitude when he was told of the recent decision by phone Wednesday.

A federal judge is giving prison officials and Johnson's lawyers a week to formulate a plan for release, with a goal of integrating him with the prison's general population within about three months.

Grote says he has no doubt Johnson has suffered severe effects from being isolated for decades.

Johnson is serving life without parole at the State Correctional Institution in Frackville, Schuylkill County, for the 1970 murder of a man in Philadelphia.

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