At the rate that Florida inmates are dying under suspicious circumstances, it won’t be long before every Floridian knows of someone whose death personally affects their ability to secure justice for themselves … like Richard Mair‘s suicide at Dade Correctional Institution affects mine, while simultaneously keeping innocent Jeff Abramowski incarcerated. Under similarly dire circumstances, the Department of Justice once took control of Florida prisons, and under similarly dire circumstances, the Department of Justice took over Los Angeles County jails last year.
While it hasn’t made a lot of local news, there has been a rash of inmate deaths, many from non-natural causes. This past week, Reginald Davis passed away, authorities indicate he killed himself. This might not be noteworthy, except for the string of deaths at Charlotte Correctional Institute, just south of Punta Gorda. As of August, 2015, there were five inmate death investigations ongoing. That represents at least the seventh criminal investigation at CCI in recent years. One that did end in prosecution was the brutal beating and eye-gouging of an inmate that resulted in a federal conviction for a guard, William Wilson, a few years ago. Sadly, that incident made national news, not for the crime, but because the whistle-blower guard who reported it was framed and then fired after he testified for the government after the attack. He sued, and reached a settlement for $135,000.
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