An inmate recently passed away under horrible circumstances inside his prison cell.
An inmate recently passed away under horrible circumstances inside his prison cell. 56-year-old Jerome Murdough was arrested for trespassing in February after he chose a stairwell in a public housing project in Harlem as a place to sleep.
The homeless and mentally ill former marine had only been looking for a warm place to rest. About a week after he was taken into police custody, Murdough’s body was found in a Rikers Island jail cell.
According to city authorities, the cause of his death is related to the stifling heat inside his cell. One official bluntly said that Murdough ‘baked to death’.
The tiny space reportedly reached temperatures up to 100 degrees. Murdough had been taking both anti-psychotic and anti-seizure prescriptions prior to his passing. Those medications may have contributed to his death, as they could have made him more susceptible to the heat.
Murdough also didn’t open a vent in his cell which would have allowed cold air to come in. The high heat in the prison is related to defective equipment.
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Murdough’s autopsy came back inconclusive, however preliminary findings reportedly indicate he suffered from heat stroke or dehydration. Advocates for mentally ill prisoners are in an uproar, claiming jail authorities failed to supervise Murdough as often as they are supposed to.