Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

America’s criminal-justice system really is criminal: Miami-Dade prison guards who allegedly laughed as they scalded a man to death in a hot shower won’t face criminal charges.

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Via Radley Balko’s links, Jerry Ianneli’s report in the Miami New Times:

On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, was thrown into a prison shower at the Dade Correctional Institution. The water was turned up to 180 degrees — hot enough to steep tea or cook ramen noodles.

As his punishment, four corrections officers — John Fan Fan, Cornelius Thompson, Ronald Clarke, and Edwina Williams — kept Rainey in that shower for two full hours. Rainey was heard screaming, “Please take me out! I can’t take it anymore!” and kicking the shower door. Inmates said prison guards laughed at Rainey and shouted, “Is it hot enough?”

Rainey died inside that shower. He was found crumpled on the floor. When his body was pulled out, nurses said burns covered 90 percent of his body. A nurse said his body temperature was too high to register with a thermometer. And his skin fell off at the touch.

But in an unconscionable decision, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office announced Friday that the four guards who oversaw what amounted to a medieval-era boiling will not be charged with a crime.

“The shower was itself neither dangerous nor unsafe,’’ the report says. “The evidence does not show that Rainey’s well-being was grossly disregarded by the correctional staff.’’

Rundle’s office announced the results of its investigation in a Friday-afternoon news dump, the kind that public officials typically use to bury unflattering news or information. Rundle’s office would clearly like this case to vanish over the weekend — but the facts are so inhumanely grotesque that the decision should haunt the office for eternity.

Rundle took over as Miami-Dade’s top prosecutor in the 1990s after Janet Reno left to join the Bill Clinton administration. Rundle has remained the state attorney since then. In that time, she has never charged a Miami police officer for an on-duty shooting.

It’s important to note that all Rundle had to do to show she cared was to charge the prison guards with a crime. It’s up to a jury to assess guilt. Despite the fact that a man died in a shower and that multiple witnesses said they saw burns on his body and heard screaming, Rundle didn’t think there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 March 2017 at 12:40 pm

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