Passed Away – Dead – Died – Cause of Death News.
Oklahoma Lawmakers Approve $1.05 Million Settlement for Inmate’s Death from Appendicitis
Joshua England, a 21-year-old citizen of the Choctaw Nation, died in a state prison in Oklahoma from appendicitis in May 2018 after visiting the prison’s medical staff five times in the week before he died. England reportedly had classic appendicitis symptoms that were worsening as the week went on. Despite rapid weight loss and worsening symptoms, England was given acid reflux medicine and a laxative but was never given a proper abdominal exam or sent to a nearby medical facility for a surgical evaluation.
England’s mother, Christina Smith, filed a federal lawsuit against prison officials in 2019, alleging that medical staff at the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington, Oklahoma, also falsified records after his death. She claims he was never given a proper abdominal exam. Lawmakers in Oklahoma agreed to a $1.05 million settlement with his family over his 2018 death.
Kay Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, declined to comment on the case, citing the pending litigation. In response to the lawsuit, attorneys for the state claimed the defendants were acting within the scope of their employment and were therefore improper parties to the claim.
England had been sentenced to 343 days in prison after convictions in 2017 on multiple charges, including taking oil field equipment, fourth-degree arson, contributing to the delinquency of minors and conspiracy, prison records show. England and another man, along with a juvenile, damaged oil field equipment and set some hay bales on fire after a night of drinking, court records show.
“If the state of Oklahoma is intent on locking up so many of its citizens for nonviolent offenses, the state needs to devote far more resources and attention to its correctional system to fulfill its constitutional obligation to provide basic medical care for people in its custody,” Smith’s attorneys said.
The Oklahoma Senate approved a resolution on Tuesday authorizing the settlement agreement. That measure now heads to the House for final approval. Such approval is required under state law for any litigation settlement expenditures of more than $250,000.
England’s tragic death highlights the ongoing problem of inadequate medical care in prisons. The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution protects prisoners from cruel and unusual punishment, including denial of medical care. However, many inmates in the US lack access to adequate healthcare, and prisons are often understaffed and under-resourced.
In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of inmates dying from preventable illnesses and medical conditions due to inadequate medical care in prisons. In 2015, Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail cell after being arrested for a minor traffic violation. She had told jail officials she had epilepsy and was not given proper medical attention. In 2018, John Neville died in a North Carolina jail after being restrained in a prone position by officers despite repeatedly telling them he could not breathe. Neville’s death was ruled a homicide.
The problem of inadequate medical care in prisons is not limited to the US. In the UK, there have been several cases of inmates dying from preventable illnesses and medical conditions. In 2018, Natasha Chin, a 39-year-old inmate at HMP Peterborough, died from a pulmonary embolism after staff ignored her requests for medical attention for several days.
In order to address this issue, prisons need to be adequately staffed and resourced, and inmates need access to proper medical care. Prison officials should be held accountable when they fail to provide adequate medical care to inmates. The settlement in Joshua England’s case is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to ensure that inmates receive the medical care they need and are entitled to under the law.
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News Source : Thelocalreport.in
Source Link :Oklahoma lawmakers agree to $1.05 million settlement over 2018 death of inmate/