Thursday, April 09, 2009

Gregorio de la Rosa, and his son

Raymondville, Texas:
Do you remember the Wackenhut corporation? Apparently they've changed their name and are now the GEO group, but they still run private prisons for a profit and they get themselves in hot water due to their employees' wanton or grossly neglectful behavior. They just lost in their attempt to persuade a Texas appeals court to overturn a 42.5 million dollar judgment for wrongful death:

Houston Chronicle, "Appellate court upholds judgment in inmate's death"

A Willacy County jury had ordered Wackenhut Corrections Corp., now known as The GEO Group, and Warden David Forrest to pay the civil judgment to the family of Gregorio de la Rosa Jr."We find that Wackenhut's conduct was clearly reprehensible and, frankly, constituted a disgusting display of disrespect for the welfare of others and for this state's civil justice system," the Thirteenth Court of Appeals said in last week's ruling affirming the Willacy County civil judgment returned in 2006.

De la Rosa died a few days before his expected 2001 release, when two inmates used padlocks stuffed into socks to beat him to death.

and, from The Brownsville Herald, a PDF of the 114 page opinion. (Raymondville is Deep South Texas, near Brownsville, which is right on the border with Mexico and one of the chronically economically-deprived areas in the state. In the Rio Grande Valley the recession isn't something new but a continuation of the Nixon/Ford era one. ( The Valley is also heavily Democratic, but this is Texas and you know, funding priorities being what they are-- what can you do? )

The Thirteenth Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Wackenhut Corrections Corporation and Warden David Forrest versus Gregorio de la Rosa Sr. His son, Gregorio de la Rosa Jr., was beaten to death with a lock wrapped in a sock while he was an inmate at the Wackenhut private prison in Willacy County on April 26, 2001.

CLICK HERE for the 114 page opinion.

cross-posted at Dead Horse.

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