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03/03/2004 Archived Entry: "A death sentence (and a tormented death, at that) for cutting a neighbor with a soda can"

SOMETIMES IT'S THE "LITTLE" STORIES THAT MOST TEAR AT YOUR HEART. Here's one about Florida teenager Omar Paisley, who pleaded guilty to cutting a neighbor with a soda can in a fight. He had barely begun serving his sentence in a juvenile lockup when he became seriously ill. If you have a weak stomach or a caring heart, you may not want to read about what happened during the next several days, as prison officials (including nurses) ignored and repeatedly insulted him ... until he died in desperate agony of a ruptured appendix. Those few who cared and realized something was really wrong were powerless to move the immovable "system."

One reason stories like this get to me is that I can very well imagine ending up in prison someday. The thought of being helpless in the "care" of such people is one of the worst things I can imagine about the experience of being locked in a cage. You know, some people say it's inhumane to put a serial killer to death by injection, which might take a couple of minutes to kill you. But this kid was sentenced to death by days of the most horrific torture. And for what? Who was worse? The kid who got in a fight or the people who sneered at him as he screamed and puked and his insides filled up with poisons?

Posted by Claire @ 02:35 PM CST

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