Inmate Russell Bright (Full Name: Russell Todd Bright) Died Following Medical Emergency at Galveston Jail
GALVESTON COUNTY, TEXAS (December 7, 2023) - A 60-year-old inmate identified as Russell Bright has tragically died in custody at a Galveston jail.
Galveston County police officials are saying that the accident began around 6:12 a.m. on December 3. Russell Bright was brought to TDCJ medical due to a medical condition.
He was transported to a second hospital around 4 hours later. Around 5:00 p.m. that same day he was transported to yet another hospital.
Sadly, his condition continued to decline and Russell Bright was pronounced dead by medical staff. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Galveston Jail Deaths
In-custody deaths are far more common than many people may realize. According to The Guardian, “Surges in the number of Americans dying while incarcerated have occurred against a backdrop of an increase in the US prison population by 500% over the last 40 years. Based on the latest national figures available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 4,980 prisoners in US correctional facilities died in 2014, a nearly 3% increase from 2013.” Jails should take a number of measures to prevent inmate deaths.
- Jails should ensure that all inmates get a thorough medical screening.
- Jails should do everything that they can to prevent illicit drugs from entering the jail.
- Jail staff should be well trained to identify when an inmate is in medical distress.
- Jails should be equipped with Nalaxone, which can be used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits jails from using cruel and unusual punishment. This includes depriving inmates of proper medical care for their conditions. Some inmates may need relatively little care, while others may need to be constantly monitored. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Many inmate deaths are due to cardiac events. An inmate may go into cardiac arrest for many different reasons.
- Cardiac arrest could be brought on due to an electrolyte imbalance.
- Cardiac arrest could be brought on due to structural heart abnormalities.
- Cardiac arrest could be brought on due to an abnormal heart arrhythmia.
- Cardiac arrest could be brought on due to certain drugs like methamphetamine.
There are typically a number of signs and symptoms that will indicate an inmate may have a heart attack. But far too often these signs and symptoms are overlooked. Indeed, in many situations jail staff will only transport an inmate to the hospital if they are in the midst of a full blown medical emergency. But by this time it may be too late. The family of any person that died in-custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim.
Investigating Galveston Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Russell Bright. This jail should do the right thing and work to determine what went wrong. Once that has taken place, they should do their best to prevent similar deaths. Every life is precious, regardless of what someone may be accused of.
Do you need more information about a Galveston County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.