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No Criminal Charges After Inmate Was Boiled to Death in Florida Prison

There was no question that Darren Rainey died in the showers of the Dade Correctional Institution in 2012. What was unanswered was whether the officers who locked Rainey for two hours in showers that could run as hot at 160 degrees were criminally liable for his death. That answer came last month, when the state attorney for Miami-Dade County released an "In Custody Death Investigation Close-Out Memo" that attributed Rainey's death to schizophrenia, heart disease, and "confinement inside the shower room." Yet the state attorney declined to press criminal charges against the officers or the prison, saying instead that "the evidence does not show that Rainey's well-being was grossly disregarded by the correctional staff." Deadly Disregard The details of Rainey's death are as grisly as they are tragic. Rainey, schizophrenic and heavily medicated, was a resident of Dade's "Temporary Transitional Unit" which houses mentally disabled inmates. According to the report, corrections officers Roland Clarke and Cornelius Thompson took Rainey to the showers after he defecated in his cell and smearing the feces on himself and the cell. Determining what exactly happened from there depends on whom you believe. Harold Hempstead, an inmate whose cell was below the shower, said he heard much of the incident, including Rainey screaming, "I can't take it anymore!" Another inmate said he heard guards sarcastically ask Rainey "Is it hot enough?" Rainey allegedly screamed, kicked the door, and begged to be let out, before he was found unresponsive almost two hours after he was locked in. A later investigation found that the water temperature, which could only be controlled from a closet outside the showers, could reach as high as 160 degrees. Mark Joiner, another former inmate at Dade, said guards ordered him to clean pieces of skin that had peeled off Rainey's body from the shower floor. And nurses allegedly said Rainey's body "was covered in burns so severe that his skin came off at the touch," according to the New Yorker. Charging Accounts The Close-Out Memo, on the other hand gave the benefit of the doubt to Thompson and Clarke, who told detectives he made sure the water wasn't too hot. And although a preliminary medical report detailed "visible trauma ... throughout the decedents' body," the final autopsy, not completed until 2016 and yet to be released found no trauma and "no thermal injuries (burns) of any kind on his body." In the end, the state attorney cited a lack of sufficient and consistent evidence in deciding not to criminally charge any of the officers involved in Rainey's death. Related Resources: No Justice for Inmate Darren Rainey (Miami Herald) $8.3M Jail Death Settlement Sets Record in Calif. (FindLaw's Decided) NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Hot Jail Cell: Report (FindLaw's Injured) Inmate Wrongful Deaths: Suing for Neglect or Abuse in Jail or Prison (FindLaw's Injured)
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Teens Sought After ‘Ice Bucket’ Prank Involving Feces, Urine

A group of Ohio bullies may be facing criminal charges after pulling a vile prank on an autistic teenager under the guise of taking part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The bullies allegedly convinced the 15-year-old boy to strip down to his underwear to take the challenge in which a bucket of ice is dumped on a person's head. But instead of using ice, the bullies doused the boy with a bucket full of feces, urine, and cigarette butts, reports the New York Daily News. The entire incident was captured on video on the boy's cell phone, and was also posted to Instagram. Police say they are working to identify the teens responsible for the humiliating prank. What charges could these bullies potentially face, if caught? Assault and Battery Although laws vary by state, assault and battery are usually charged in the event of a harmful or offensive contact made or threatened against another person. Assault is typically threatened or attempted harmful or offensive contact with a person, while battery is generally reserved for instances where an actual harmful or offensive contact occurs. In this case, the bullies dumped a bucket full of bodily fluids onto a boy, which would likely constitute criminal battery. Although the boy did initially consent to taking part in what he thought was the Ice Bucket Challenge, by switching out the contents of the bucket, the bullies exceeded the scope of any consent that the boy may have granted them. Ice Bucket Challenges May Lead to Injuries, Lawsuits The Ice Bucket Challenge was started as a way to raise funds and awareness for research into the disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. However, after videos of the challenge became wildly popular online, there have been a number of unfortunate incidents linked to the challenge in which participants have been injured, including at least one death, according to the Daily News. In addition to possible criminal charges against Ice Bucket pranksters, victims of unexpected or unwanted Ice Bucket Challenges may have grounds for a civil lawsuit for injuries sustained, as well as the embarrassment caused by posting video of the incident on the Internet.And because the pranksters in the Ohio case are believed to be students, they will likely face school discipline as well, Fox News reports. Related Resources: Ohio cops seek charges in 'ice bucket' prank on autistic teen (Fox News) Can the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' Lead to Injury? (FindLaw's Injured) Senior Prank Gets 60 Teens Arrested in N.J. (FindLaw's Blotter) Feces Attack over Courtroom Restraints Dispute (FindLaw's Blotter)
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