Civil Suit Only Remedy for Inmate Killed By Corrections Officers

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As reported in The News Journal on December 15, 2015, even though an autopsy and death certificate ruled inmate Ronald Shoup’s death a homicide, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office will not pursue criminal charges against the correctional officers who caused his death.

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Mr. Shoup, incarcerated for drunk driving, tragically died when five officers crushed him under their weight while restraining him hours before his death, as a forensic pathologist found. His death was labeled a homicide due to blunt force trauma.

The decision specifically stated that it did not rule out the possibility that the policy, training, and procedures at DOC were inadequate or that correctional officers could not be held liable in a civil suit. Mr. Shoup’s attorney confirmed that a civil suit would be forthcoming.

This highlights the importance of civil suits in achieving justice for victims when the State cannot or will not do so. It is important to remember that lawyers for the State work on behalf of the State and are not lawyers for victims of negligence by the State or other people or entities. This case highlights the importance of civil lawsuits in obtaining justice for people who are the victims of wrongdoing.

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