American Samizdat

Saturday, June 09, 2007. *
NOT Paris Hilton: Dying to Feel Better

Washington, DC: A 27-year-old quadriplegic man sentenced to serve ten days in a Washington, DC jail on charges that he possessed a minor amount of marijuana died while in custody last week due to inadequate health care, including prison officials' failure to provide him with a ventilator.

The victim, Jonathan Magbie, had been paralyzed from the neck down since the age of four, was unable to breath on his own, and required nursing care 20 hours a day.

Magbie was sentenced to spend ten days in jail on September 20, 2004 after pleading guilty to one charge of marijuana possession. Though prosecutors had recommended probation, the judge in the case ordered Magbie to serve jail time - noting that the defendant had told pre-sentence investigators that he would continue using marijuana because it made him feel better.

NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup called Magbie's death "one of the most tragic results of marijuana prohibition I have witnessed in the 35-year history of the organization."

posted by m at 5:30 PM
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