Controversy arises over prisoner’s death

July 29, 2013

prisonsAdvocates of a California prison inmate hunger strike announced one of the prisoners who had been refusing meals has died, but state corrections officials said the death is under investigation as a suicide. [Reuters]

Supporters and inmates say Billy Sell, 32, was participating in the strike and had requested medical treatment for several days before his death last week at the Corcoran State Prison. Prison officials contend Sell was not participating in the hunger strike.

The Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition launched the protest against the state’s solitary confinement practices on July 8. California’s prison officials keep some inmates in solitary confinement for years because of gang affiliation or former aggressive actions.

Supporters of the strike and prison officials are also at odds over how many prisoners are participating in the strike.

Strike advocates say more than 30,000 of California’s 132,800 inmates have taken part in the action. Prison officials claim the number of inmates on strike has dwindled to 601.




  1. sloweb says:

    Mama always said, “Stupid is, as stupid does”.

    I guess she was right!

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    Maybe the taxpayers should put the prisoners on strike and not feed them for a week. This would include closing their marketplace, visitors and confiscating their food chain. They want to starve, we should always help our neighbors.

    (12) 14 Total Votes - 13 up - 1 down
    • kettle says:

      What a horribly unconstitutional and generally awful idea.

      Who else in history wanted to kill of a segment of the population by starvation?

      You must have made a wrong turn slobird, Sharia law is elsewhere.

      (-8) 10 Total Votes - 1 up - 9 down
  3. Pelican1 says:

    Congratulations to the strikers. Isn’t this what a hunger strike is meant to do? Keep it going and given enough time you’ll be 100% successful, and we won’t have to worry any further about our tax dollars being wasted on warehousing convicted felons.

    (11) 13 Total Votes - 12 up - 1 down
  4. Jorge Estrada says:

    The danger of a prison suicide epidemic is not likely even when considered as a potential funding resource.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  5. Rambunctious says:

    I would bet dollars to donuts that a prison hunger strike involves no eating of prison food…I’m sure the underground junk food train rolls on. We should be saving money on prison food expenses so maybe we can afford Browns little train after all. AAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down

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