AZ Halts Prison Policy After Inmate Death

Marcia Powell, a mentally ill prostitute and drug addict, was in prison awaiting transfer to a psychiatric facility. Prison officials kept her outdoors in an unshaded cage for 4 hours in 107 degree heat. She died.

At least, it won't happen again.

Charles L. Ryan, the department's director, ordered the temporary suspension last week after the death of Marcia Powell at Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville. Powell, 48, died of heat-related causes after spending four hours in temperatures that reached 107.5 degrees.

Powell's death has led to the suspension of three prison officials and a criminal investigation into their conduct.

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  • Display: Sort:
    They should (none / 0) (#1)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:23:29 PM EST
    be tried for pre-meditated murder.

    How terrible.

    Even if this was common procedure (none / 0) (#2)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:30:29 PM EST
    and those before didn't die? I'm not sure the people immediately involved are the only ones who need to be dealt with on the practice.

    The AZ legislature needs to have all procedures and policies looked at when it comes to how people are handled there.


    It should have never been standard procedure (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:36:58 PM EST
    anybody who lives in an AZ like climate knows from a very young age the rules of the heat. You just don't mess with heat stroke.

    It certainly never should have been in (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun May 31, 2009 at 12:15:13 AM EST
    place. I fault every single governor, legislator, and person who was able to stop the practice from being used. To limit the punishment to just the few who were involved this time is every bit as bad as the way the torture punishments have been handed out.

    I was young when I moved to desert conditions (none / 0) (#11)
    by nycstray on Sun May 31, 2009 at 02:14:41 AM EST
    and I only lived in them for about 8 yrs, at most. We are talking a few decades later and I still remember the rules. A first year newbie to the area would prob get schooled in living in the climate. There is absolutely NO excuse for them to be using this "process" at any level of heat or cold. Why the f*** can't they keep them in their "space" until it's time to board?

    If this is SOP, yes, take it all the way. If this is isolated, take it all the way.

    I can not imagine being held in a holding cage in 107 degree direct heat for 4 hours.


    Yes (none / 0) (#4)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 06:46:40 PM EST
    The others were lucky.  

    What the Heck?! (none / 0) (#5)
    by TomStewart on Sat May 30, 2009 at 07:33:00 PM EST
    Was this supposed to be some sort of sick punishment?

    Why not cut to the chase? (none / 0) (#7)
    by mcl on Sat May 30, 2009 at 10:46:02 PM EST
    Just crucify the inmates. Broadcast it live. Charge for Pay-Per-View.

    I give up, America is too depraved, it needs to be eradicated. At this point I'm starting to hope we get another large dinosaur-killing asteroid headed our way. Obliteration seems just.

    Gary Larsen says it was smoking (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oldpro on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:08:18 PM EST
    that killed the dinosaurs.  Haven't you seen The Far Side?  

    Gary clears up a lot of misunderstandings.


    i've been advocating (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Sun May 31, 2009 at 02:02:57 AM EST
    this for years. think of both the savings and additional revenues! however, i don't think crucifixion is the best means of execution to employ; it takes way too long, and americans have a notoriously short attention span.

    i was thinking more along the lines of ancient rome: gladatorial spectacles, torn apart by wild animals, strangulation (body parts would still be usable), that sort of thing.

    this would also provide additional use for all those huge stadiums, financed with tax dollars, and only sparingly employed during the year. beverage and snack vendors would have year-round employment.

    the whole concept offers the potential for a host of revenue generating activities.


    What Luke said... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Sun May 31, 2009 at 10:52:49 AM EST
    "Sorry, Luke. I'm just doing my job. You gotta appreciate that."

    "Nah - calling it your job don't make it right, Boss."