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Jury Awards Man $22 Million After He Spent 22 Months in Solitary Confinement

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A New Mexico jury awarded a former inmate $22 million after he spent 22 months in jail without ever facing a judge or being convicted of a crime. Not only did Stephen Slevin faced an excruciating 22 months in jail, the entire time was spent in solitary confinement, where Stephen lost 50 pounds, was forced to pull his own bad tooth after being denied dental care, and developed bed sores.

Stephen was arrested in 2005 on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicle theft. He was never brought before a judge or convicted of either crime, and he wrote desperate letters for help with pre-existing depression. However, prison officials ignored his pleas and let the man deteriorate far beyond his original physical and mental state.

Although Stephen will receive $15.5 million of the $22 million jury award, his woes continue. He was recently diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress disorder and lung cancer. Jess Williams, Dona Ana County's public information director, says that the jail where Stephen stayed is working to improve its treatment of prisoners will mental illness.

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  1. Vern Dennis says:
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    That seems hugely excessive – I do think the folks that were responsible should themselves face some prison time – now that would be justice