Inmate’s Death in Overheated Rikers Cell Is Ruled Accidental
- New York 09/12/2014 by Michael Schwirtz (NY Times)
The death of a mentally ill veteran in an overheated cell at Rikers Island this year was accidental, the New York City medical examiner’s office ruled on Friday in a case that drew scrutiny to abusive conditions at the jail complex.
The inmate, Jerome Murdough, died on Feb. 15, when temperatures in his cell in a mental health unit at Rikers climbed to over 100 degrees.
Mr. Murdough, 57, died of hyperthermia caused by exposure to the heat, said Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. The heat’s interaction with an antipsychotic medication he was taking for a schizoaffective disorder contributed to his death, she said.
Ms. Bolcer said she could not comment on whether the ruling had any legal consequences, adding that only medical considerations were taken into account.
Even so, the ruling that the death was accidental raised questions about culpability.
Read at the NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/nyregion/rikers-death-is-ruled-an-accident.html?emc=edit_ur_20140913&nl=nyregion&nlid=53970034.