Inmate JohnMurphy (Full Name: JohnPaulMurphy) Died In Custody At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Estelle Unit After Medical Emergency
WALKER COUNTY, TEXAS (November 5, 2023) - An inmate identified as John Murphy has tragically died after a medical emergency at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Estelle Unit.
Walker County officials are saying that the incident took place on 10/25. Correctional officers noticed that John Murphy was having a medical emergency.
Jail staff and medical staff began life-saving measures which were later taken over by paramedics. Sadly, John Murphy was later pronounced dead.
His cause of death in the in-custody death report was listed as “cardiac arrest with underlying medical issues.”
Liability For Walker County Jail Inmate Deaths
Far too many inmates die in-custody each year in Texas prisons. Many in-custody deaths are due to cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest can be brought on by medical issues as well as excessive force. According to the authors of one study in the Journal of Forensic Science, “most atraumatic deaths during police restraint of subjects in the prone position are due to prone restraint cardiac arrest (PRCA), rather than from restraint asphyxia or a stress‐induced cardiac condition, such as excited delirium. The prone position restricts ventilation and diminishes pulmonary perfusion.” There are many steps that jail officials should take if they believe an inmate is having a heart attack.
- Jail staff should call for emergency medical assistance as early as possible.
- Jail medical staff should be notified about what is going on.
- The inmate’s vital signs should be carefully monitored.
- Inmates should typically get aspirin if a heart attack is suspected.
- Medical staff should ensure that the inmate’s airways are open and that they can breathe.
The Eighth Amendment to the constitution prohibits jails from utilizing cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court has long held that denying inmates proper medical care is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and is therefore prohibited. In particular, jails must promptly attend to the serious medical needs of the inmates that they care for. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many ways that a jail could have failed to properly care for an inmate which contributed to their death.
- Jails may have failed to get an inmate prompt care.
- Jails may have failed to heed the medical advice of nurses and doctors.
- Jails may have failed to give an inmate the medication that they required.
Many inmate deaths are preventable. This is particularly true when an inmate has a known pre-existing condition. Doctors know how to treat patients at risk of heart attack. This is not a mystery in the way that it once was. The family of any person that died in jail may have legal recourse through a constitutional claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know if an in-custody death was due to jail medical neglect.
Investigating Walker County Jail Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of John Murphy. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. The sheer number of inmate deaths at Walker County jails remains deeply disturbing. It is our sincere hope that greater insight into what is going on will lead to lasting reform.
Have you or someone that you care about been harmed while staying at a Walker County Jail? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to helping victims of jail medical neglect understand their rights and ensuring those rights are protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of assistance we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.