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Thursday, June 04, 2009

No vigilante justice

No vigilante justice; Our view: The death in custody of an accused cop-killer last year was a disgrace to the criminal justice system; now the feds must step in to make all the facts known.
Sun, 4 Jun 2009 (Editorial).
Vigilantism is an ugly word, but it's one that's been on people's minds ever since the death under suspicious circumstances of Ronnie L. White last June in a Prince George's County detention facility. Mr. White had been brought there on a Friday, accused of killing a county police officer, Cpl. Richard S. Findley, during a botched carjacking. By Sunday, Mr. White was dead, after jail guards reportedly found him lying unconscious in his maximum-security cell. The county medical examiner ruled the death a homicide when an autopsy revealed broken bones in the prisoner's neck, indicating he had been strangled. State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey promised a full investigation followed by swift indictments of the perpetrators.

But then - nothing. Months went by without anyone being charged, though two of the guards on duty the day of Mr. White's death were put on administrative leave after officials identified them as a focus of the investigation. More months went by until this week, when Mr. Ivey finally announced that no prosecutions would be forthcoming because the state lacked enough evidence to indict anyone.
[Full editorial]

(Posted 4 Jun 2009)

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