If you think Jeffrey Epstein was murdered because no prison would treat an inmate that negligently…

Ken "Popehat" White (previously) has expanded on his excellent Twitter thread about Jeffrey Epstein's suicide in jail, and just how (shamefully) normal it is for prisoners to die in custody due to indifference, overwork, malfeasance and sadism on the part of prison authorities.

In the Atlantic, White tells the stories of 32 inmates who died (or nearly died) in US custody, under circumstances that are every bit as absurd and negligent as those surrounding Jeffrey Epstein's death.

The point isn't that it's inconceivable that Epstein died as the result of a conspiracy, but the conspiracy theories that say that it has to be a setup because it's so implausible that prison authorities would be so totally useless are thoroughly disconnected from reality.

The state of US prisons is a national shame, and the fact that America incarcerates more people than any other nation in world history in these gulags is a national horror.

Andrew Holland died in a restraint chair in San Luis Obispo County, California. He was strapped to the chair, naked, for two days. If you like, you can watch video of the guards laughing as medics try fruitlessly to perform CPR, though I would not recommend it.

The story of Shamieke Pugh and Maurice Lee has laughter, too, but I don't think it's funny. Maybe I'm humorless? Pugh and Lee were African American, and they were handcuffed, helpless, to a jail table when they were stabbed by a white supremacist. The guards laughed.

Darren Rainey was an inmate in South Florida. Guards put in him a shower stall, locked the door, and turned on the hot water. The guards taunted him, saying, "How do you like your shower?" He died. Though witnesses said he looked like a boiled lobster, authorities declined to charge the guards and said that Rainey's skin peeling off his body must have been because of "slippage" caused by attempts to revive him.

Michael Anthony Kerr died of dehydration, like Thomas, near Raleigh, North Carolina. Kerr—an Army veteran—was off his medications and lay in his own waste for five days before someone figured out he wasn't eating or drinking. He was handcuffed the whole time; they had to cut off the handcuffs because the lock was encrusted with his feces.

Thirty-Two Short Stories About Death in Prison [Ken White/The Atlantic]

(Image: Jmiller291, CC BY)