Murder Through Torture in a New Jersey Jailby Will Grigg
Mar. 13, 2014
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New Jersey resident Robert Taylor, a homeless man and long-term alcoholic, died sometime last December of starvation and related neglect while in the Burlington County Jail.
Taylor should have been taken to a hospital, but jail officials insist that this was too expensive. Instead, he was placed in a segregation unit, dressed in a suicide-prevention smock commonly referred to as a “turtle suit,” and then abandoned.
During his incarceration, Taylor wasn’t given a morsel of food, a mattress, a blanket, or a single shower. Taylor’s neighbor in the segregation unit, an accused robber named Sean Tyrzanski, pleaded with guards to take Taylor to the hospital. His pleas were ignored – as was Taylor, apart from demeaning comments from guards about the elderly man’s condition. Rather than checking on Taylor’s health, guards would simply spray air freshener into the cell to mask the odor emitted by the dying man.
When his captors finally checked on him, the elderly man’s lifeless body was found lying in a puddle of feces and urine.
A cursory investigation by the District Attorney found no evidence of “criminal wrongdoing” in Taylor’s death.
This was murder through torture, a summary punishment that was cruel but by no means unusual in the American gulag.