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MS Prison Officials Indicted

On June 14, 1994, US Attorney Alfred Moreton III made public a grand jury indictment of six current and five former Mississippi state prison officials in the 1991 beating of Larry Floyd, a prisoner at the Mississippi State Penitentiary (MSP) at Parchman. The five former employees have already admitted guilt and pleaded guilty to either participating in the beating or trying to cover it up. The other six officials, including Steven Puckett, now the Deputy State Corrections Commissioner, are charged with violating Floyd's civil rights. Floyd, a convicted murderer, was beaten after escaping from the Parchman prison. He was found the next day in an abandoned house near the prison. Court documents allege that Floyd, who was not resisting prison officials, was kicked and hit with a walkie talkie and handgun. Puckett was present at the scene, witnessed the assault and failed to stop it. At the time, Puckett was the MSP superintendent. If convicted Puckett faces 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Presumably Mr. Puckett will now be reflecting on his ideas of penal reform.

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