Be ashamed, PA DOC! A female prisoner with diabetes dies as a result of direct medical neglect in a PA prison

We received this message from facebook. We urge the authorities to conduct an investigation into the death of this woman in prison who had diabetes and who needed insulin, a life-saving medication, together with her daily intake of food. We left out the name of the person trying to help her for fear of possible retaliation. Those responsible for the death of Tonya Green should be held accountable.

Tonya Green, the inmate in the cell next door, ‘cried and begged 6 days for help, and no-one helped her. She was unable to get herself up off the floor, and no-one helped her get up, so therefore they did not give her food and she did not take her insulin.’

The doctor came and shouted at her, ignoring her pleas for help. On the morning of the seventh day, the fellow prisoner found Tonya lying dead on the floor of her cell. She reported this to the guards but it took them another four hours to decide to go in and check on Tonya. Their attempts to revive her were, by then, futile.

I have no idea what Tonya had done to be serving a prison sentence but the way she was left to die was perverse and inhumane. Her death would probably be classified by law as caused by grave neglect. Manslaughter, maybe? Taking into account everyone knew Tonya was diabetic and needed insulin, you might even call it murder.

Deaths in Iranian prison must be investigated

From: Amnesty International

17 March 2011

Amnesty International has called for an investigation into reports that up to 14 people were killed in a disturbance in a jail near Tehran this week.

The incident at the overcrowded Qezel Hesar prison in Karaj occurred on Tuesday night when clashes broke out involving prisoners and prison guards. The Prisons Chief said that a judicial investigation has been launched.

“Such a high death toll is extremely worrying. Prison officials have a responsibility to maintain order and to protect the lives of prisoners, but must exercise restraint,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“A prompt inquiry into these deaths is essential but it must be independent and transparent, as international human rights standards require, such as those set out in the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Body of Principles for the protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

“Unfortunately the Iranian Judiciary has routinely failed to carry out such investigations, so we are once again calling on the international community to use the current session of the UN Human Rights Council to create a Special Rapporteur to monitor and report on human rights in the Iran.”

Prison authorities said the riot was sparked by death row prisoners and drug-trafficking and possession offenders committing arson and other destructive acts in an attempt to escape, as well as attacking prison guards.

However, human rights activist groups told Amnesty International the prisoners were protesting at poor conditions and attempts to transfer some of the inmates for execution.

One activist based abroad said he had been in contact with a prisoner from inside Section 2 of prison until the early hours of Wednesday, when the phone lines were cut.

“The prisoners took over Sections 2 and 3 of the prison,” the activist told Amnesty International.

“I was told that armed guards had stationed themselves on the roof of the prison and outside the doors to the section and the prisoners set fire to bedding to try to stop the guards from entering. The prisoner told me that the guards were shooting at everyone.”

There are reports that at least six people died from gunshot wounds and over 100 may have been injured, with some dying in – or on the way to – medical centres.

Iranian State Television reportedly said on Wednesday that 14 people had died, including at least nine prisoners, and 33 had been injured. Prison guards may have also been among the fatalities.

“We know that the Iranian authorities are on a killing spree at the moment, having executed well over 100 people – mainly alleged drugs offenders – since the start of the year. This is yet one more reason why they should immediately order a moratorium on all executions,” added Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

Nolan Klein dies in prison

Sad news. Our condolences are with Tonja Brown and her family and friends. Rest in peace, Nolan. May the truth be heard loud and clear.

From Nevada Appeal:

Nolan Klein, who had spent nearly 20 years in the Nevada prison system trying to prove his innocence, died Sunday in the infirmary at Northern Nevada Correctional Center. He was 54.

Klein never wavered from his claim that he had been wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in a Sparks shoe store in 1988. His staunchest supporter in that cause was his sister Tonya Brown who has worked since that conviction to try find evidence which would clear her brother.

His death comes just a week after Director of Corrections Howard Skolnik ordered his staff to begin preparing paperwork for a compassionate release due to Klein’s failing health. He was suffering from several serious health problems including pneumonia and liver failure from Hepatitis C.

Brown said the fight to clear her brother’s name will continue. There are actions before judges in both state and federal court challenging the conviction and accusing the Washoe County District Attorney’s office of hiding or destroying potentially exculpatory evidence.

Here is another article, printed on Sept. 24, 2009 in the Reno Gazette-Journal.