Family Faults Fulton County Sheriff for Inmate’s Death

( — Montay Stinson is the 10th prisoner to die in custody this year at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, GA, and his family wants answers. Stinson was found unresponsive in his cell on July 31, 2023. The 40-year-old prisoner’s cause of death was determined to be “hypertensive cardiovascular disease” by the Fulton County Medical Examiner.

According to family attorney Kenneth Muhammed, Stinson had been complaining about health problems that were not being addressed. His sister, Kimyotta Stinson, blames Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat for her brother’s death, directing him to “do your sworn duty, sir, and make this right,” and saying that he has “blood” on his hands.

The Department of Justice has announced that it has opened a civil investigation into living conditions in the Fulton County Jail. The DOJ cited reports of violence and neglect as reasons for the investigation, including the disturbing death of LaShawn Thompson, who died in September 2022 covered in insects. There was also a mass stabbing that resulted in 23-year-old Dayvion Blake’s death and injuries to four others. Sheriff Patrick Labat believes the county needs to build a new county jail, referring to the current facility as “crumbling” and dangerously overcrowded.

Devin Franklin, movement policy counsel with the Southern Center for Human Rights, does not agree. He says that the problem with the Fulton County Jail is that they don’t take care of the inmates in the manner that the constitution of Georgia requires of them.

It is important to note that the rights of incarcerated people to adequate medical care are protected and that deliberate indifference to their medical needs could constitute a violation of the 8th Amendment, as ruled by the Supreme Court in 1976. The Stinson family’s attorney is questioning the timeline surrounding Montay Stinson’s death, and considering other incidents involving the health and safety of the inmates at Fulton County Jail, there is still room for inquiry into the issue of medical neglect.

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