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Thread: Another example of idiot juries
09-24-08, 11:44 PM #1
Another example of idiot juries
Inmate Awarded $295,000 In Damages
He Had Been Forced To Sleep On A Wet, Moldy Mattress, Suit Said.
Wisconsin State Journal :: FRONT :: A1
Friday, September 19, 2008
By ED TRELEVEN firstname.lastname@example.org 608-252-6134
A federal jury awarded $295,000 in punitive damages Thursday to a Wisconsin prison inmate who was forced to sleep for nearly two months on a wet and moldy mattress at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution.
The jury found that the mattress used by Reggie Townsend, 29, of Milwaukee, was so unsanitary that it denied him "the minimal civilized measure of life's necessities."
After deliberations lasting six hours, the jury awarded punitive damages against Sgt. Jerry Allen, a correctional officer at New Lisbon, because his conduct demonstrated a willful disregard for Townsend's constitutional rights. The jury had also said Allen was aware of the problem and failed to take reasonable measures to correct it.
It did not find, however, that Townsend suffered any physical harm.
"I think the jury was rightfully upset at the way the prisoners had been treated," said Madison attorney David Harth, who represented Townsend. "It wasn't a one-off thing. It was what happened during a 60-day stay in segregation at New Lisbon."
Because the guard is a state employee, taxpayers ultimately may have to pay any award.
The state is considering an appeal.
"We will consult with our clients to determine whether or not to appeal this judgment," said state Justice Department spokesman Bill Cosh.
According to court records, on Nov. 11, 2004, several members of the Latin Kings gang led a riot against guards in Unit A at New Lisbon. More than a dozen guards were injured. Warden Catherine Farrey ordered that prisoners believed to have been involved be transferred to segregation units while the riot was investigated.
Townsend was placed in segregation on Nov. 15, 2004, after officials learned that he had destroyed evidence that could have revealed who was involved in the riot. He remained in the 12-by-6 1/2 -foot segregation cell for 59 days, sharing the space designed for one man with another inmate.
The cell contained one bunk, one sink and one toilet. A shower in the cell drains through the cell floor. Townsend's "bunk" was a thin mattress that was placed on the floor near the shower, the only space where it would fit.
The mattress quickly became "wet, moldy and foul smelling," Townsend testified, and despite his complaints it was never replaced.
Townsend sued prison officials in 2005 for allegedly violating his right against cruel and unusual punishment and his right to due process, but U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb dismissed the lawsuit. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, reversed Crabb's decision in part, sending back Townsend's claim against Allen of cruel and unusual punishment.
Court records indicate that Townsend is serving a 23-year prison sentence for first-degree reckless homicide. Townsend was among a large group of men who shot up a Milwaukee neighborhood in 2000 in retaliation for an incident the previous night at a tavern. An 11-year-old girl was killed inside her grandmother's house by a stray bullet.
At the time, Townsend told police that nobody intended to harm an innocent girl. Harth said Townsend himself has an 11-year-old daughter who might benefit from the jury award, which would be placed in a trust fund - assuming the award survives post-verdict motions and appeals. "He's been a joy to work with," Harth said of Townsend. Despite having just a ninth-grade education, he said, Townsend is a "bright guy" who has earned a degree in masonry while in prison.
The guy killed an 11 year old girl, participated in a riot, yet these idiots awarded him $295000! I hope the girls family goes after every cent of it.For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.
09-25-08, 01:13 AM #2
+ 1. Thats par for the course. "Bright" Shitbags like this Piece of Shit end an 11 year old little girl's life and somehow become a "victim". The people who are charged with keeping this animal off the streets , a job none of the jury would want or could do any better become the bad guys. Hey jury, how about letting this "bright" individual come over to your house and let him sleep in your bed. You got any kids you want to get rid of ? This whole f@#$ing world has gone to hell. You make sick.SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM-Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"
"It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
-General Omar Bradley, United States Army
09-25-08, 10:33 PM #3
They should have awarded him a fucking bullet in the head.--
"And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon..."
09-26-08, 12:37 PM #4
Pathetic...Calm Like A Bomb...
“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
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