Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't say it can't happen in America

A man was arrested in New Mexico and kept in solitary confinement for 22 months without ever even being brought before a judge:
Stephen Slevin spent 22 months in solitary confinement in a New Mexico jail. During that time, his mental health deteriorated, fungus grew on his skin, and he was forced to pull his own tooth after being denied access to a dentist. A recent settlement with Dona Ana County resulted in Slevin receiving $15.5 million.

Initially, Slevin was awarded $22 million by a jury, but Dona Ana County appealed. The two parties reached an agreement this week. According to NBC News, Slevin's attorney, Matt Coyte, said his client's "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. But it’s nice to be able to get him some money so he can improve where he is in life and move on."

During his 22 months in solitary confinement, Slevin developed bedsores and lost 50 pounds. The ordeal began in 2005 when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and stealing a car, which he says he borrowed from a friend. Slevin was never brought before a judge nor was he officially convicted of any crime. He said he wrote letters, begging for help with his depression. The before and after photos show the effect the 22 months of neglect had.

If you think this kind of thing can't happen in America, think again. 

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