Brutality and medical neglect lead to death in Texas prison

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[Abuse] [Texas] [ULK Issue 3]
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Brutality and medical neglect lead to death in Texas prison

I would like to give a brief synopsis of a matter that took place about a year ago in Huntsville TX prison, but somehow is just now surfacing in the public (prison) eye. A prisoner by the name of Larry Cox died due to medical shortage of staff in 2007, but the thing is not as it seems to appear. 48-year-old Larry Cox should not have been left to deteriorate on his prison cell floor, with a broken back and in his own waste, for two days last year, before being sent to the hospital to die.

This clearly shows the negligence of the prison officers as much as the prison nurses, who have no concern what so ever for a prisoner who disrupts the institution. In testimony before the Senate criminal justice committee Dr. Ben Raimer and a colleague, Glenda Adams - both with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston - suggested a mix of factors led to Cox's death, including the prisoner's poor health due to negligence of the medical office on the unit, his tendency to malinger, and his "violent behavior."

See, that violent behavior is what caused his death. Reason being, once you interfere with the rules and regulations of the institution, you create a reputation where these guards hold anger and frustration toward you to the point, as in this case, where they will allow others or even themselves kill you. How else would he have gotten a broken back? Assistance did not come to him until after the fact of negligence by nurses, doctors and the guards.

Two days is a long time on the floor. I mean, these guards passed out chow, mail, and did head count for over two days. They, as much as the nurses, are at fault. I know they saw him there on the floor asking for help. It was an easy task for one of those guards to have gone and advised his supervisors.

Later, Raimer and Adams both indicated that the death of the prisoner from Houston may have been aggravated by a shortage in medical staff, including a 50% shortage of doctors, 18% shortage in registered nurses. How about the guards and their evil ways? It all revolves around the same thing, a man's death. Cox died two weeks after he had a scuffle with the prison guards at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville Texas.

The prison's independent inspector general, John Moriatry, who is in charge of monitoring the prison system, told lawmakers that on four occasions prison medical staff did not administer Cox's prescribed medication, even when he told them he was paralyzed and could not get it himself. A physician care assistant recorded that as a "Refusal to take medication."

Moriarty defended his guards stating that they hand-fed Cox painkillers, and one supposedly alerted medical supervisors that the prisoner needed to be transferred to a hospital. By then, however, it was too late. For two days Cox was left on a mattress on his cell floor, dying in his own waste.

No one was ever held criminally responsible. The two prosecutors involved, one with the Walker County District Attorney's office and the other assigned to the state's prison prosecutor's unit, recommended that "no criminal charges be filed," Despite the medical examiner's report and Moriarty's conclusion that criminal charges should be brought against at least five medical employees. But what about the guards at the Estelle unit?

This is some of what happens behind these walls of silence. We as comrades need to break this silence by using common sense and observation. We must mobilize the masses to go against this in prison and expose the corruption of this capitalist and imperialist government.

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