The video belows shows highlights of the press conference held on Friday, December 4, 2009 at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.Five families whose loved ones were killed in prison, their attorneys, five clergymen, a former CDCr Forensic Psychologist and others spoke out about the death toll taking place in the prisons beneath the radar of most media.
There is almost a total lack of accountability for torturing and killing a state prisoner except for the rare victory of a lawsuit. The parents of Joseph Sullivan were awarded $475,000 in damages for the wrongful death of their son Joseph at Chuckawalla Prison. That is no compensation at all for the loss of a loved one through medical neglect and torture.
The overcrowding has caused deliberate indifference and medical neglect to be a pattern which results in the death of a prisoner every day. The media is banned, so the public cannot see this death toll visibly. But the three judge panel in the Coleman-Plata case knows of this death toll, and it is imperative that prisoner releases begin right now. None of the people who have been killed had a death sentence.
Attorneys Abraham Goldman and David Springfield successfully litigated the Sullivan case. They have made an especially compelling statement here.
I will be adding more written remarks from the speakers to this web page, but a number of them are already up here.