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Georgia Prisoner Strangled by Guards

On September 12, 1995, a guard at the Lee Arrendale Correctional Institution in Alto, Georgia, told 22-year-old prisoner, Samuel Rivers to clean his cell. Rivers had shredded newspapers and 'carpeted" his cell with them. When he refused to clean up the cell, five guards were summoned to take him to the hole. When they attempted to cuff him, he bolted. After a short chase, the guards threw Rivers to the floor and choked him with a baton across the neck until he lost consciousness.

The guards dragged his limp, handcuffed body to the infirmary. A prison doctor was unable to detect a pulse. An autopsy at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation state crime laboratory showed that Rivers died of asphyxiation.

"This is outrageous. This man was not sentenced to death," said attorney Robert Cullen of Georgia Legal Services, which represents prisoners in lawsuits challenging prison conditions. "It's not the place of the Department of Corrections to impose a death sentence for those not sentenced to death."

One of the guards was suspended without pay. The others reportedly still work at the prison. None of the guards were identified. A Habersham County grand jury is reportedly looking at the incident to consider possible criminal indictments.

[Editors Note : Any readers who have further information regarding the conclusion of this case, (first hand knowledge or news clippings) please send it along so we can do an update.]

Source: Atlanta Constitution , 10/4/95

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