In yesterday’s WaPo, Colbert King is accusing authorities of glossing over the facts pertaining the the totally unnecessary death of Jonathan Magbie. In case you don’t recall the Magbie story, here’s King’s overview:
Jonathan Magbie was a 27-year-old man who was paralyzed from the neck down as a result of a childhood accident. Although he had never been convicted of a criminal offense and although he required private nursing care for as much as 20 hours a day, Magbie was given a 10-day sentence in the D.C. jail in September 2004 by D.C. Superior Court Judge Judith E. Retchin for possession of a marijuana cigarette. He died in city custody four days later. His story has been the subject of several previous columns.
King described the findings of the Internal Affairs investigation the equivalent of “a beating with a wet noodle” — a conclusion which I support. He wrote:
As for the Corrections Department’s decision to keep the ventilator-dependent Magbie confined for four days to the Correctional Treatment Facility, where no ventilator or appropriate medical care was available? The “investigation,” done by Corrections staff and passed along by Reiskin, gave the rest of the nurses, physicians and staff a pass.
Judge Retchin? She was cleared by the Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure.
Say this much for ol’ D.C., it takes care of its own.
If justice is to be had in this case, it won’t be found in D.C. agencies. Better to look to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. That’s where the Jonathan Magbie lawsuit is filed.
I guess this shows the difference between King and me. I no longer have any faith in the court system with respect to drug war issues.