Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard membervivify
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    13 Apr '16 03:381 edit
    Yes, this story broke in 2013, but it's still a heartbreaking, terrible injustice. This man was left in solitary confinement over a DUI that he wasn't even tried for:

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17212442-man-left-in-solitary-confinement-for-2-years-gets-155-million-settlement

    Stephen Slevin was held in solitary confinement for 22 months after a DWI. The photo on the left shows him after his detainment; on the right is his booking photo, when he was healthier and clean-shaven.

    A man who spent 22 long months in solitary confinement in a New Mexico jail, neglected to the point where he was forced to pull out his own tooth because he said he wasn't allowed to see a dentist, will receive $15.5 million for the ordeal.

    The settlement with Dona Ana County, N.M., falls short of the $22 million that Stephen Slevin, 59, and his attorney had asked for, but is still one of the largest prisoner civil rights payouts in U.S. history.

    "His mental health has been severely compromised from the time he was in that facility. That continues to be the same. No amount of money will bring back what they took away from him," Matt Coyte, Slevin's Albuquerque-based attorney, said on Wednesday. "But it’s nice to be able to get him some money so he can improve where he is in life and move on."

    Slevin's story of inhumane treatment in the Dona Ana County Jail, where he was incarcerated from 2005 to 2007 — which he said included his toenails growing so long that they curled around his foot, and fungus festering on his skin because he was deprived of showers — first received publicity last January, when he was awarded the $22 million.

    Dona Ana County had been appealing the verdict ever since, refusing to pay Slevin.

    But the legal battle ended Tuesday with the $15.5 million settlement, a number decided on in court mediation, according to Jess Williams, Dona Ana County's public information director.

    An initial payment of $6 million is expected to be wired to Slevin by the end of this week; he will receive the rest in installments in the following days.

    For Slevin — who has lung cancer and has beaten doctors' odds for how long he would survive — the case was not about how much money he could make, his attorney said, but about getting recognition of how poorly he was treated and the scars he still has.

    YouTube : Unjust Solitary Confinement
  2. Germany
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    13 Apr '16 06:47
    ...and justice for all.
  3. The Catbird's Seat
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    13 Apr '16 13:151 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    Yes, this story broke in 2013, but it's still a heartbreaking, terrible injustice. This man was left in solitary confinement over a DUI that he wasn't even tried for:

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/06/17212442-man-left-in-solitary-confinement-for-2-years-gets-155-million-settlement

    Stephen Slevin was held in solitary confinement for 22 months ...[text shortened]... scars he still has.

    [youtube Unjust Solitary Confinement]bFy8sW9KgOg&nohtml5=False[/youtube]
    Besides the issue of the unjust confinement, I am offended by the size of the award. Is there any way he could have legally earned $15.5 million in those 22 months? He gets filthy rich, out of the pockets of ordinary taxpayers, for what? And is there any punitive action toward the people who caused this, either purposely, or by error of omission?

    I recognize that these initial judgements are often drastically reduced on appeal. Hopefully that will be the case. But, that doesn't address the problem. Was the injustice intentional? If so, someone in the system needs to be prosecuted. At least the system needs to be fixed.
  4. Account suspended
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    13 Apr '16 13:20
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Besides the issue of the unjust confinement, I am offended by the size of the award. Is there any way he could have legally earned $15.5 million in those 22 months? He gets filthy rich, out of the pockets of ordinary taxpayers, for what? And is there any punitive action toward the people who caused this, either purposely, or by error of omission?

    I ...[text shortened]... l? If so, someone in the system needs to be prosecuted. At least the system needs to be fixed.
    We're not getting the whole story, he had a long history of mental problems and they basically didn't know what to do with him. They screwed up badly but it wasn't out of malice.
  5. Standard membervivify
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    13 Apr '16 15:03
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Besides the issue of the unjust confinement, I am offended by the size of the award. Is there any way he could have legally earned $15.5 million in those 22 months? He gets filthy rich, out of the pockets of ordinary taxpayers, for what? And is there any punitive action toward the people who caused this, either purposely, or by error of omission?

    I ...[text shortened]... l? If so, someone in the system needs to be prosecuted. At least the system needs to be fixed.
    The initial settlement was for 22 million, and reduced to 15 million. As for the twenty-two months, it's two years of a man's life unjustly taken from him. Not only that, but he suffered horribly; not just mentally, being locked in a tiny cell by himself with only one hour a day to go outside (some days, not even that), but he suffered physically because he needed dental care. The pain was so bad, that he forcibly removed his own tooth.

    He went through that for two years. So it's the fact that two years of his life was stolen from him, and the fact that he suffered for that period of time. I think he deserves every penny. In fact, I think it's wrong that his initial settlement was appealed, given what this man went through.
  6. Standard membersh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
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    13 Apr '16 18:54
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Besides the issue of the unjust confinement, I am offended by the size of the award. Is there any way he could have legally earned $15.5 million in those 22 months? He gets filthy rich, out of the pockets of ordinary taxpayers, for what? And is there any punitive action toward the people who caused this, either purposely, or by error of omission?

    I ...[text shortened]... l? If so, someone in the system needs to be prosecuted. At least the system needs to be fixed.
    Would you give up 22 months of your life for $15 million?
  7. Standard memberDeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    Cosmopolis
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    13 Apr '16 19:32
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Besides the issue of the unjust confinement, I am offended by the size of the award. Is there any way he could have legally earned $15.5 million in those 22 months? He gets filthy rich, out of the pockets of ordinary taxpayers, for what? And is there any punitive action toward the people who caused this, either purposely, or by error of omission?

    I ...[text shortened]... l? If so, someone in the system needs to be prosecuted. At least the system needs to be fixed.
    The award is not solely for lost earnings, he was imprisoned without trial - I'm sure you've heard of habeas corpus - and in solitary confinement. The scale of the award reflects the courts judgement concerning his suffering, not for the earnings he lost while inside. Further, the article makes it pretty plain that the money isn't his primary consideration. He's dying of lung cancer - he's already exceeded his doctors expectations for survival - so assuming average US earnings and his total lack of expected life-span he'd probably be perfectly content with the 1% of the payout that would cover loss of potential or actual earnings - but that's not the point. The point for him is official recognition and the scale of the award reflects the severity with which the courts looked on his treatment.
  8. Account suspended
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    13 Apr '16 19:531 edit
    Yes his civil rights were abused, the system failed him, but on the other side of the coin he was nuts, he couldn't be around other prisoners and his behaviour was too crazy to just be let out on the street. They literally didn't know what to do with him.
    Did he get screwed over? YES.
    Was he wronged horribly? YES.
    But people need to stop with the catty "land of the free" and "look how 'Merika sucks" comments, this was a freakish waaay out- of- the ordinary situation that got badly mishandled , it isn't an indictment of the American justice system, and it isn't something that happens regularly, it was a freakish anomaly and no one in charge was doing it just to be mean.
    Incompetent, yes, but not hick hillbilly "we gonna do you up right bwaahhh" mean.
    They just screwed up. Royally.
    Chit happens.
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