Saturday, March 09, 2013

Hide your face in shame

That THIS happened anywhere, let alone in the United States.
Stephen Slevin, arrested for a DWI and accused of driving a stolen car that he said he borrowed from a friend, was placed in solitary confinement shortly after he arrived at Dona Ana County Detention Center in New Mexico because he declined to post a $40,000 bond. After one medical examination, Slevin, who was severely depressed even before his arrest, was deemed suicidal and placed in a padded isolated cell with no natural light for 23 hours a day. Once in that cell, Slevin faced an insurmountable battle in changing his circumstance, in spite of neglect so severe that his toenails grew to curl around his foot, he pulled out his own decaying tooth and fungus grew on his face. He sent letters saying “I’m afraid to close my eyes” and “I don’t know much longer I can go on.” But the only response he received was greater sedation, his lawyer told NBC News. After two years in this circumstance, the charges against Slevin were dropped and he was released, having never been found guilty of any crime.
Slevin recently prevailed in a lawsuit which cost the taxpayers a large, large verdict. Slevin's jailers should be in jail.

[The] evidence included letters written by Plaintiff seeking help, and sick call requests documenting Plaintiff’s suffering from bed sores on his thighs, fungus growing on his face, rotting teeth, pain, inability to sleep and nightmares where he could not sleep. … Medical records kept by the Detention Center similarly documented Plaintiff’s experience of pain and suffering, and the lack of treatment for his many medical and dental conditions. … Plaintiff … spent six months along in his cell with virtually no human contact before his release.

Although first attempting to explain away his lack of recreation time by testifying that Plaintiff refused to come out of his cell, [Detention Center Director Christopher] Barela testified that he would not have put his dog in a cell like Plaintiff’s cell and left him there for a month at a time, even if his dog refused to come out. He admitted that, if his dog refused to come out, he would wonder what was wrong with her and take her to the veterinarian. Barela also acknowledged that he knew it was not acceptable to leave his dog or Plaintiff in the conditions in which Plaintiff was left [...]

With regard to the injurious effects of administrative confinement on Plaintiff, his expert, Dr. Grasisan,  … testified that Plaintiff was “more massively impaired by the PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, than [he] ha[d] ever seen in [his] entire professional life.” According to Dr. Grassian’s testimony, Plaintiff’s life “is kind of torture.”


Anonymous said...

shame doesn't begin to cover this.

human's create horrors.

Anonymous said...

Cue Lee Greenwood!

Anonymous said...

In fairness, the people who were in charge when this outrage occurred should themselves be thrown in solitary confinement indefinitely... "pour encourager les autres" as good old Voltaire once observed:

"Dans ce pay-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres."

"In this country it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, to encourage the others."

Anonymous said...

It'll be a frosty day in hell before US jailers or cops ever suffer any punishment for blatant abuse like this, except maybe a tepid "don't do it again" lecture.

Which is why this will happen over and over. Thanks to the sick lawnorder punishment culture predominant in this country.

pansypoo said...

well, there is the DWI. sounds lie a good punishment for serial rapists or child molesters. BUT, sounds like they wanted him to kill himself.

gratuitous said...

Remind me again why it's such a good idea to have weaponized drones flying around over the citizenry? Stories like this are so reassuring about the judgment of our faultless law enforcement folks.

Montag said...

This guy had a history of mental health disorders before he was arrested, so, I'm guessing that this sort of treatment did wonders for his pre-existing condition. Nothing like solitary confinement to push a fragile personality over the edge.

No wonder the guy didn't want to leave his cell--he had every expectation that what was outside it was going to be even worse....