“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” –United States Constitution, Eighth Amendment
Undoubtedly, convicted criminals deserve a punishment that fits the severity of the crime. However, in some cases, even a relatively short sentence can be a death sentence if the prisoner is forced to serve time at a poorly run prison facility. For these individuals who have been murdered, driven to suicide, or received grossly inadequate medical care, despite never receiving a death sentence, some action must be taken to save others from a similar fate. Chicago civil rights attorneys work to ensure that prisoners receive the appropriate sentence imposed by a court of law.
The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution protects American citizens from cruel and unusual punishments. This Amendment protects Americans from heinous punishments such as torture and slavery, and also from grossly disproportionate punishments, such as a death sentence imposed for minor crimes or without the proper procedural safeguards. Chicago death attorneys understand that unjustified prisoner deaths generally occur for three reasons, the victim is held in unsafe conditions, the victim does not receive basic medical care, or the victim is driven to suicide because of intolerable conditions or mental illness.
A prisoner’s surviving family members, with the help of an Illinois prisoner rights attorney, may be able to bring a lawsuit against the prison or guards that caused the victim’s death. In a prisoner death lawsuit, the family must meet a very high evidentiary burden-that the officials responsible showed “deliberate indifference“ to the cruel and unusual circumstances of the victim’s confinement. This standard is considerably higher than the standard for negligence or even reckless misconduct.
A family which succeeds in demonstrating that a victim’s death was caused by prison officials’ deliberate indifference may be entitled to compensation, including: attorneys fees, medical expenses, funeral expenses, grief, pain and suffering of the survivor, loss of financial support, and loss of companionship. This compensation may be effected by the amount of time remaining on the victim’s sentence. Nonetheless, a prisoner death lawsuit can help reform a broken prison facility, and save the lives of others.
At Dolan Law, P.C., we represent clients dealing with personal injuries, employment issues and criminal charges. Our lawyers focus on supporting our clients and protecting their best interests above all else. Whether you seek injury compensation, an unbiased mediator or a fierce defender, our firm is here to provide the comprehensive representation you need. Schedule a consultation today — call [ln::phone] or contact us online.
Our office, located in the Loop, is open during regular business hours for walk-ins. We are accessible by the El on the Brown, Blue or Red Line, and we validate parking at ImPark garage across the street from our building. We are also happy to meet with clients at their convenience with regard to time and location.