Wealth manager and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent death by suicide in a Manhattan jail has sparked immediate questions, given earlier reporting that he was on suicide watch.
As MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos explained to Joy Reid, one possible explanation is that he had been taken off suicide watch more recently.
“There was a previous incident that was said to potentially have been an attempted suicide, so was he on suicide watch?” asked Reid.
“I’m hearing that he may have been on suicide watch and taken off suicide watch, but there still are a lot of questions about what that earlier incident was, whether or not officials or medical providers saw it just as maybe a cry for help and not a serious suicide threat,” said Cevallos. “If you look at the Bureau of Prisons’ policies on suicide prevention, they take any reference to suicide, any expression of suicidal intent very seriously, and you’re supposed to refer everything to the psychology department immediately. There are going to be questions about where he was housed.”
“Is this a maximum security facility he was in?” said Reid. “He’s accused of serious crimes. It seems odd just to the casual viewer, right, that the person not only who was accused of serious crimes over many many many years, had been convicted of being a sex offender before but also knew powerful people. The stories that are coming out from unsealed documents that we saw this week show that he had associations with and was facilitating children for sex to other powerful people. Somebody with that much information, with that much to offer potentially to prosecutors, how was he just left on his own? I think that’s what a lot of people are going to ask. How was he on his own not being watched 24/7?”
“He was a pretrial detainee,” said Cevallos. “This is not like he would be someone who is housed at a supermax facility such as the one in Colorado. He has not yet been convicted. So it’s a slightly different classification, a way of looking at things. He’s at MCC, Metropolitan Correctional Center.”
“And the statistics show far and away, more likely to commit suicide are pretrial detainees and within the first few days or weeks of their detention,” added Cevallos. “And that’s exactly where Jeffrey Epstein was. It’s only been a couple of weeks, if that, since he was held without bail. Since he had his bail hearing and bail was denied, but far and away, detainees, people awaiting their trial, and particularly people charged and convicted of sex offenses are at high risk of suicide, more than prisoners who have been convicted and serving their sentence, at supermax or minimum security.”
Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.
The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.
It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.
GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.
Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.
"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."
Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.
White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.
CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."
Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.
Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.