Man forgotten about in prison, died from neglect

Discussion in 'Law & Justice' started by kazenatsu, Jan 13, 2023.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    A mentally challenged black man who caused a small scene in a police station was locked up and forgotten about, left in prison for a year until he died from starvation and neglect.

    He probably did not deserve to spend a year in prison. He probably did not even deserve to spend 2 months in prison, but the justice system did not care about him and just left him in prison. He would be dead a year later, at the age of 51.

    Larry Eugene Price, Jr. was frequently homeless, schizophrenic, and had a substandard intelligence level (IQ below 55, near mental retardation). He had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and having "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". He was then 50 years of age.
    On August 19, 2020 he wandered into the small town police station in Fort Smith, in northwest Arkansas, as he did nearly every day. Police in the town were used to seeing Price, then 50, coming in, hanging around for a bit, then leaving.

    On that day, Price used his finger like a gun to point around the station and at officers, threatening and cursing at those present. The officers, seemingly concerned for his wellbeing and the safety of those in the station, arrested him on the charge of "terroristic threatening in the first degree", which was classified as a felony under state law.

    Although he was 6 feet and 2 inches tall and weighted nearly 200 pounds, according to police reports the man was not an immediate threat. He had no weapon with him. But the officers were unable to settle him down or reason with him, so he was handcuffed and taken to the Sebastian County Detention Center. He was locked up, then went before a judge who set the bail at $1,000.

    In prison, the man's mental health further deteriorated and he practically lost his mind. Seemingly there was no one paying attention to his wellbeing, and no one paying attention to whether he deserved to be left in prison so long.

    The man was finally found in a solitary confinement cell dead, with his eyes wide open, naked, starved, dried saliva on the corners of his mouth, in a pool of standing water so large his feet had shriveled. His medication had long since been taken away. Toward the end, he had resorted to eating his own feces and drinking his own urine.

    By the time emergency services arrived at the jail to attempt to resuscitate, Price, formerly a solid built man, weighed just 90 pounds. Yet, even after his death, the jail guards responsible for monitoring the prisoner continued to write down reports stating, "Inmate and Cell OK."

    "I was appalled -- a developmentally disabled, mentally ill man, who couldn't afford his low bail amount, was held in solitary confinement for a year," said Erik Heipt, a Seattle attorney with Budge & Heipt PLLC, who is representing the Price family. "He was not serving a sentence. He was awaiting trial the whole time."

    Starved to Death in an American Jail, the Man Who Couldn't Pay $100 Bail, NewsWeek.com, Eric Ferkenhoff, 01/13/23
     
  2. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    That is a shocking story. So much so, that I started out thinking, "yeah, there are all kinds of injustices that occur, within our society's institutions," but, when it got to the part about his weight being only 90 pounds, at the time of his death, I thought that this just must have been created from someone's imagination.

    But it is a Newsweek article, which I trust. And the story is about recent events (the man was arrested in 2020). I am surprised I've not heard more about this story, as it has all the ingredients to be sensationalized, except for sex. It makes one feel angry at the injustice, of the coldly negligent "system." But it also leaves me feeling a little bit sick, and wondering if I am any better off, having read it.
     
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  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Did you see the pictures of the body in the article? It looks like this man obviously suffered neglect.

    Although it's not entirely clear whether food and water was withheld from him, or if the man could not eat due to his mental condition, or possibly due to some medical condition. (But in either case, it is a form of neglect)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2023
  4. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    There's an entire list of people that need to lose their jobs and or go to prison themselves and his surviving family should never have to worry about having another Penny again
     
  5. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I don't think the family deserves any money.
    (The "family" is not his children. Parents and siblings don't deserve money just because their grown-up child or brother died)
    This type of wrong cannot be "made right" with money. The victim who suffered the wrong is dead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2023
  6. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    Of course, it's gross neglect, to take away the medication from a man, so ill-equipped to deal with a prison environment. Obviously, no psychological evaluation or care was provided. And that a person could shrivel from 200 pounds to just 90, and slowly starve to death, right in front of the guards' faces, without getting medical attention... it seems even criminal.
     
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  7. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I suspect this man would probably have gotten more attention or been likelier to be treated a little better had he been white.
    (Not that racism makes what happened to this man any worse)
     
  8. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    So who should they be held accountable to?
     
  9. DEFinning

    DEFinning Well-Known Member Donor

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    I don't know, but I agree with @kazenatsu , on this one. Any family he has, left him in prison for a year, in lieu of $1,000 bail. It only costs $100, to get a bail bondsman, to put up $1,000.

    On top of that, they apparently couldn't visit him once, during that year, to see he was not doing well, and so raise the issues of his medication, and his weight loss. In truth, any family of this man, had been just as neglectful, as had been the prison. If they were to get money out of it, essentially because of their own lack of concern for the victim, it would be almost as if they were benefitting from a crime which they had helped to perpetrate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2023
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  10. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    That is a good point. But someone should pay for this. The people responsible should be in prison their self.
     
  11. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    Let me start with a disclaimer that the following is my opinion and is not based on facts.

    I believe this was not a case of neglect. We have so many regulations to avoid liabilities that I find it hard to believe this was a case of negligence. It was not a mistake.

    A bleak picture emerges if you look at the long list of negative mental traits that this man had suffered.

    This man was too stupid to live. Not only that, but he was also dangerous.

    This was not a murder. It was a killing. The criminal justice system saw someone who should not have lived anymore, and they ensured he died. It was a late-term abortion, if you will—a very late-term abortion.

    The incredible changing details show that the justice system is providing legal immunity in this case so that the final findings will always change to be that no one is responsible. At worst, the deceased's family will get a payout at the trial. They are free to kill the dredge of society, people that will never fit in again.

    And society will be better for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2023

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