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UPDATE: 1/10/15 - South Carolina pays $1.2 million to family of cold cell victim Jerome Laudman, who died of hypothermia in a cold cell

This is a landmark case for cold cell victims; it appears the flood gates have opened. See AP Article or Greenville News article.


The Homicide of Jerome Laudman at Lee Correctional Prison in South Carolina

In 2008 in South Carolina's 'Lee Correctional Prison' inmate Jerome Laudman, a mentally ill inmate, was stripped naked and placed in a cold cell for 11 days.1 With no way to protect himself from the cold, Laudman's body temperature was forcibly reduced to 80.6 degrees.1 He was transferred to a hospital where he was pronounced dead from cardiac arrhythmia, which is common with hypothermia victims.

His family sued, and what can only be described as a miracle, South Carolina State Circuit Judge Michael Baxley agreed with the family and issued a 45-page order finding the Department of Corrections had violated the rights of Laudman and other inmates with serious mental illness.1

The South Carolina state police, SLED, which often covers for wrongdoing in the state, handed the case over to the FBI and DOJ lawyers, who have yet to do anything. The FBI can do little, when the FBI also uses cold cell torture2.

Judge Baxley ordered South Carolina to make changes in their treatment of the mentally ill, but due to the high cost of compliance, some $30 million dollars, Governor Haley decided to appeal the case rather than taking action to stop the killing of inmates. This story is ongoing and developing, but here are some articles on the Laudman murder:

Greenville Online1, and Charleston City Paper3 and Alt Free Press4

On April 13, 2014, The Post and Courier newspaper, in Charleston, SC, published an article5 on the horrific conditions mentally ill inmates face in South Carolina's jails and prisons. Quoting:

The case exposed numerous stories of mentally ill inmates being gassed, locked in solitary confinement for years at a time, denied effective treatment and caged naked, alone and cold in makeshift crisis cells littered with rotten food, feces and other filth. Prison officials have argued that these were extreme "outlier" cases, troubling but anecdotal evidence that wasn't representative of the system as a whole.


FOOTNOTES

1.
Greenville, South Carolina, Greenville Online article published 2/2/2014, (external link: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20140202/NEWS09/302020033/Suit-reveals-details-inmate-s-death)

2.
FBI use of cold cell torture, see FBI page at: http://coldcelltorture.com/fbi.php.

3
Charleston, South Carolina's "Charleston City Paper" article published 1/24/2014, (external link: ://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheBattery/archives/2014/01/24/what-you-need-to-know-about-scs-mentally-ill-inmate-problem)

4.
South Carolina's "Alt Free Press," article published on 1/22/2014, (external link: http://www.free-times.com/cover/horrors-behind-these-walls-012214)

5.
Charleston's Post and Courier article published on 4/13/2014 regarding the horrible conditions and treatment of the mentally ill. (external link: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140412/PC16/140419801/1177/after-nearly-a-decade-court-order-puts-focus-on-troubled-inmates)


PAGE LAST UPDATE: 11/13/2014, 3:53pm EST, by dab
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