Item: Mentally Ill Prisoner Tortured to Death in Michigan
Attorneys in Michigan are preparing to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the state’s Department of Corrections over the death of prisoner who suffered from a bipolar disorder. According to the Detroit Free Press, Timothy Joe Sounders died after spending most of his last four days with his arms and legs strapped to a steel bed in four-point restraints in a hot isolation cell. He was naked and soaked in his urine. He was 21 years old. Authorities haven't released an autopsy yet but one expert witness called it "death by torture." The Michigan Department of Corrections initially told his family that he had died in his sleep. Sounders is at least the third mentally ill prisoner to die under similar circumstances in Michigan in recent years. Also expected to be sued in the case is Correctional Medical Services, the private company that handles health services in Michigan’s prisons.
Item: Senate Moves to OK Detention of U.S. Citizens
The Bush administration has slipped in a major change to the Senate bill on interrogations that would allow U.S. citizens to be detained as enemy combatants. Initially the bill defined an enemy combatant as anyone who engaged in hostilities against the United States or its allies but the definition has been expanded to include anyone who has materially supported hostilities against the United States or its allies. The Washington Post reports that human rights experts expressed concern that the language in the new provision would be a precedent-setting congressional endorsement for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Meanwhile on Monday, a group of activists from Code Pink stood up in protest over the bill during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The activists stood with their backs toward the Senators while wearing t-shirts that spelled out the phrase “No Torture.” The activists called on the Senators to remove a section of the bill that strips detainees of the right to habeas corpus.