Suicide is suspected in the death of Edward Dean Bridges, 55, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Bridges had been on San Quentin State Prison's death row since 1992 for the robbery and murder of William Seiler, an attorney who was kidnapped in Tustin and forced to drive to a remote area in Riverside County.
Whenever I read one of these fairly frequent reports, I wonder if it really was suicide. Prison can be a dangerous place. I'm sure there have been cases where the guards took matters into their own hands, either directly or by turning a blind eye.
As if to add fuel to my fire, the article continues:
In the 30 years since California reinstated capital punishment, 15 condemned inmates have committed suicide, exceeding the 14 who have been executed. Another 41 died from natural causes.
The plight of convicted inmates is certainly a bleak one. If there were no shenanigans taking place and all those suicides were just that, suicide, that's pretty bleak. If what I suspect happened in some cases, it's even worse. And the 41 who died from natural causes probably include some who received inadequate care or none at all.
I realize that each of these people caused damage in the lives of others. I don't for a second discount the plight of the victims of their crimes. But I think it's appalling what prisoners in America have to endure. I say they have not ceased to be human beings by committing crimes however despicable they might have been. As human beings they deserve better.
What do you think?