Mentally ill homeless vet ‘essentially baked to death’ in New York City jail cell

By Scott Kaufman
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 12:26 EDT
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A New York City official speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity said that a mentally ill, homeless military veteran “essentially baked to death” in a jail cell last month.

The official said that Jerome Murdough — who had been arrested on a trespassing charge and taken to an observation unit at Rikers Island — was not aware that he had to open a small vent to allow cool air to enter his cell. Murdough took both anti-psychotic and anti-seizure medication, and should have been periodically checked by Department of Corrections officers while in his cell.

He was not, and died in a cell that had overheated to more than 100 degrees.

It is not known which anti-psychotic medication Murdough had been prescribed, but some anti-psychotics — like risperidone — are known to make those who take them more sensitive to extreme heat and more prone to becoming dehydrated.

["Portrait Of Elderly Homeless White Man" on Shutterstock]

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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