June 05, 2008

Another Union County prisoner receives a death sentence

The Star-Ledger has posted that another Union County inmate, Addison Wilcox, 33, died at the Union County Jail. The post doesn’t mention what day the death occurred. The Ledger reported that Newark attorney Gerald Saluti, who represented Wilcox, said members of the family told him that Wilcox had been complaining since Monday of having shortness of breath and upper respiratory problems. "The family complained that nothing was done about it," Saluti said. "I saw him the day he went into the jail. He was as healthy as a horse. He had no respiratory problems whatsoever," the attorney said. "From speaking to the family, it sure doesn't look like he got the attention he needed."
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Sadly Wilcox joins a growing list of dead and mistreated prisoners.

On May 22, 2008 Dexter Gelfand posted on the Countywatchers about his son. “On April 15, my son Geoffrey Gelfand passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. He experienced much unnecessary and unfortunate suffering at the hands of the powers that be during his imprisonment in Union County Jail in 2004. He was frequently denied medication for his removed thyroid, to the point where he was debilitated mentally and physically as often as not, and as his disease returned to his throat, causing bleeding, and pain to the point where eating was so difficult that he'd lose as much as 30 pounds a month. His jailers denied proper medical examination and treatment despite his pain and suffering, which was quite alarming to his cell mates.”
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On October 13, 2007 Kathy Figgs posted on the Countywatchers about her brother, Johnathan Dawkins, who was an inmate in the Union County jail. “He was pepper sprayed and restrained by jail personnel. He was then transported to a hospital where he was placed on life support and remains to this day. He was not breathing and unconscious. He had two black-eyes, bruising on his neck, and a swollen face.”
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In 2006 within just weeks of each other Union County inmates Aaron Pittman died of Crohns disease and Donald Davis from a stomach infection. According to family members, both were left untreated and their screams of pain were ignored. Both families have filed separate lawsuits against the county which are pending.
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The County of Union has recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit in the matter of Edward Sinclair, Jr., the 17 year old who died in their Juvenile Detention Center on May 10, 2003.
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Just after Eddie’s Death his family and friends visitied a freeholder meeting.
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Isn’t it ironic don’t you think that every postal patron in Union County received the taxpayer funded Union County Directions newsletter just before Primary Election Day on Tuesday which headlines the appointed county manager George Devanney’s uncle, Senator Raymond Lesniak, and his book, The Road to Abolition: How New Jersey Repealed the Death Penalty.

George Devanney is responsible for the running of the Union County jail and oversees the publishing of the Union County Directions Newsletter.