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  1. #1
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Do US backwaters still use jungle justice?

    US man's night in the cells accidentally became two years in solitary confinement

    Suspected drunk driver wins $22m after he was forgotten, isolated and terribly neglected

    By Guy Adams in Los Angeles
    Saturday, 28 January 2012
    Stephen Slevin at the time of his arrest for drink driving in August 2005, left, and when he was released in May 2007, right

    Stephen Slevin at the time of his arrest for drink driving in August 2005, left, and when he was released in May 2007, right

    Stephen Slevin was driving along a rural highway in southern New Mexico in August 2005 when traffic police pulled him over and arrested him on suspicion of drink-driving, along with a string of other motoring offences.

    By the time all of the charges against him were dismissed and Mr Slevin was released from custody, it was 2007. For reasons that remain unclear, officials had forced him to spend the intervening two years in solitary confinement.

    During the ordeal, he claims to have been denied access to basic washing facilities for months at a time. He'd lost a third of his body weight, grown a beard down to his chest and was suffering from bed sores. Prison officials had also ignored his pleas to see a dentist, forcing him to pull out his own tooth. They declined other requests for attention, including an audience with a mental health professional. He duly became delirious and says that by the time of his release he'd "been driven mad".

    This week, a jury in Albuquerque ordered Dona Ana County, which was responsible for incarcerating Slevin without trial, to pay $22m (14m) in compensation. It was the largest award ever granted to a US prisoner whose civil rights have been violated.

    "Prison officials were walking by me every day, watching me deteriorate," Mr Slevin, who still from suffers post traumatic stress disorder, told reporters. The court heard how he was originally arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and "receiving a stolen vehicle". He was thrown into solitary confinement after officers learned that he suffered from depression and decided he might be suicidal.

    Matthew Coyte, a civil-rights lawyer who represented Mr Slevin, now 58, during the six-day trial, said he was then "forgotten" and left to "decay".

    In letters to staff at Dona Ana County Jail, Mr Slevin claimed to be depressed and unable to sleep in the solitary "pod" there. As time went on, he told them he'd begun hallucinating. No doctor was called, but at the behest of a prison nurse, who had a bachelor's degree in psychology but no medical qualifications, he was given some sedatives. It wasn't until June 2007 that Mr Slevin went before a judge, at which point he was immediately released into the mental health system on the grounds that he was by then incapable of participating in his own defence.

    The case throws an uncomfortable light on the use of solitary confinement in the US justice system. At present, an estimated 50,000 inmates are housed in such circumstances, sometimes for years at a time. Dona Ana County had previously offered Mr Slevin $2m to drop his compensation case. It pledged to appeal the $22m award, saying: "we believe we have strong legal issues to raise."

    Read more: US man's night in the cells accidentally became two years in solitary confinement - World news, News - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

  2. #2
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    Bettyboo's Avatar
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    God bless America.

    Now, instead of paying out silly sums of money ($2,000,000 would have been enough, one for each year; I doubt his potential earnings would be higher...), why aren't the people involved in the abuse tried and imprisioned... State/Government employees and business employees need to be personally accountable and tried - this would help to solve a lot of corruption in the present system, imo.
    How do I post these pictures???

  3. #3
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    the OP article suggests this was "Dona Ana County Jail" - which would be administered by the city. However the private/for-profit prison industry which has also exploded in the US, is rife with payola corruption.

    Uploaded by RussiaToday on May 26, 2011
    With well over 2 million people in jail - the U.S. has the world's biggest prison population. But some are seeing the inside of a cell because dodgy judges are getting payback from the private sector. RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports on those dishing out justice for a fee.
    Mother with no prior offenses sentenced to TWELVE YEARS in prison for $31 marijuana offense

    Activist Post: Creating lifelong customers: the school-to-prison pipeline and the private prison industry





    Either case, agree with Bettyboo- holding officials personally accountable & liable for atrocities, rather than taxpayers, would help put the proper deterrent in place to prevent said atrocities.

  4. #4
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    So US domestic justice isn't a "US Issue" then?

    'Splain that one to me.

  5. #5
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Probably trying to get him to confess to being 'one of them damn tallybrands'.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    Well...





    Seems like a lot more 'breakage' too these days...

  7. #7
    En route
    Cujo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    Well...

    Looks like you and the Taliban have more in common than you thought.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ I can assure you that booners does not speak for all American people.


  9. #9
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    ^ I can assure you that booners does not speak for all American people.
    Agree.........

    ........but he does however voice the opinion of a certain percentage of the american population....

    ....mostly those married to their cousins of course.......

  10. #10
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    ^ Yes sadly you are correct.

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