Jonathan Magbie, a 27-year-old quadriplegic who had been unable to breathe on his own since he was 4, was sent to a Corrections Department facility for 10 days for marijuana possession. Four days later he was dead. The short period between sentencing and his death is a story of what can happen when an impersonal system treats inmates as if they are nobodies with no one to turn to.
Then the buck-passing began. After arriving at the D.C. jail, Mr. Magbie was evaluated as needing “acute medical attention” and nearly nine hours later was shipped to Greater Southeast Community Hospital, which has handled inmate hospitalizations since the closure of D.C. General Hospital. Greater Southeast, however, discharged Mr. Magbie the next day and sent him to the Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF), another Corrections Department unit near the jail. A physician at the CTF concluded that Mr. Magbie belonged at the hospital and asked that he be taken back, but Greater Southeast refused. The physician then asked Judge Retchin to order the hospital to take Mr. Magbie, but the judge said she didn’t have the power. And there at CTF Mr. Magbie stayed.
After his mother, Mary Scott, and his lawyer haggled with the medical staff for two days, she was finally permitted to bring his ventilator to the building. By the time Ms. Scott got there, her son had been taken back to Greater Southeast. He died that night.
Yesterday, we asked the chief judge’s office if the matter of Jonathan Magbie was closed or under review. The case is closed, we were told …
Why is his case closed?
For more on this, please read Baylen’s passionate post at D’Alliance: Judge and Executioner
Also, more at Media Crapola and TalkLeft (where a strange and passionate discussion took place in the comments led off by an idiot that somehow thought Magbie deserved it).