Quadriplegic Inmate Dies For Lack Of Ventilator
October 5, 2004
WASHINGTON, DC--Jonathan Magbie, 27, died on September 24 at a Washington-area hospital.
Magbie had been rushed to the hospital from the district's Correctional Treatment Facility, where he was four days into serving a 10-day sentence for marijuana possession.
Now, Magbie's family blames the sentencing judge for forcing him to serve time in a corrections system that was not equipped to handle his needs.
Magbie, who was paralyzed from the neck down, used a wheelchair that he operated with his chin, and needed a ventilator to breathe. At home, his family helped him with personal care tasks, and he had nursing staff available for his medical needs twenty hours a day.
The sentencing judge claims that she had been assured the Corrections Department could meet Magbie's needs.
Just a few days after Magbie died, his family was told that the investigation into his death was already closed.
The Washington Post ran an editorial, criticizing the judge and corrections officials for the "buck-passing" which led to Magbie's death.
"Disabled Man Dies In D.C. Jail; Family Says Judge to Blame" by Dave Reynolds (TheNewStandard)
"Editorial: An Inmate's Death" (Washington Post)