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Jury: Lousy bedding violated Wisconsin felon's constitutional rights

SEPTEMBER 19--A Wisconsin man serving time for reckless homicide yesterday was awarded $295,000 by a federal jury that found the inmate's constitutional rights were violated when he was forced to spend two months sleeping on a moldy, waterlogged mattress. Reggie Townsend, 29, scored the six-figure windfall after a U.S. District Court panel decided that he was improperly treated while locked up in late-2004 at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution. The jury's special verdict can be found below. Following a jail riot, Townsend spent about 60 days in a 12' x 6' segregation unit he shared with another state inmate. During that period, the jury found that Townsend had to sleep on the cell floor atop a thin mattress adjacent to the shower. The mattress, Townsend claimed, soon became "wet, moldy and foul smelling" and was not replaced despite his complaints to jail guards. Though he did not suffer any physical harm from the unsanitary bedding, Townsend was deprived of the "minimal civilized measure of life's necessities," the jury decided after deliberating six hours. While the $295,000 punitive damage award was levied against Jerry Allen, a corrections officer, the State of Wisconsin may end up on the hook for the alleged actions (or inaction) of its employee. Townsend is serving 23 years for his role in a Milwaukee street shootout that left an 11-year-old girl dead. The child was hit by a stray bullet while inside her grandmother's home.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0919082mattress1.html
 

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This has got to be one of the most ridiculous disgusting stories ive ever heard...the guy was responsible for an 11 yr olds death...at best he should have just got a new mattress epecially since he never got ill or anything...think of the precidence this will set for future inmate lawsuits...
 

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This isn't like he fell asleep at the wheel while driving a vehicle. 100% unacceptable crime. No sympathy, too bad that wasn't black mold or something to make his lungs like swiss cheese!
 

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Think of it this way...in 10-15 yrs when this A hole gets out he will have more money than most of us in the bank...and they say crime doesnt pay...
 
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