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Lawsuit: After Being Stabbed, South Carolina Inmate Left to Die By Corrections Officers

— April 19, 2019

The suit was filed by the mother of Allen Capers, a Charleston man who was killed in a prison brawl in late 2017.

A South Carolina woman is suing the state Department of Corrections, claiming her son was left to die by officers at Turbeville Correctional Institution.

Allen Capers, writes CNN, was serving time at Turbeville for armed robbery and kindapping. His mother, Debra Capers Dickson, says Allen knew he’d done wrong and was trying his best to make amends in prison.

“Allen did something wrong,” Dickson said Thursday. “But he wanted to do his time because he knew he did wrong. He wanted to make it right.”

But on New Year’s Eve 2017, Allen Capers was stabbed several times outside his cell.

Correctional officers purportedly sprung into action: they dragged Capers outside, laid him in the yard and then left him to bleed out.

Capers’ death was captured by surveillance cameras at Turbevile. Footage, says CNN, was recently released by family attorney Justin Bamberg, who is also a representative in South Carolina’s House.

The recording shows Capers repeatedly trying to stand up, falling to the ground with every attempt. While several corrections officers approached Capers, none offered medical treatment or initiated first aid.

Image via Rennett Stowe/Flickr/Wikimedia Commons. (CCA-BY-2.0)

“It’s not a death sentence just because you go to prison,” Dickson said. “You go to prison, you get reformed and you come back into society.”

“They’re still human beings,” Dickson said. “They still have feelings. They still have rights.”

According to CNN, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Corrections admitted that “more should have been done to render aid and help this offender.”

“The matter is under criminal investigation,” said spokeswoman Chrysti Shain. “The actions of the stuff are under internal review for disciplinary actions.”

Bamberg, reports The Hill, claims that Capers’ death was caused by systematic inefficiency and negligence. Inmates were somehow able to obtain the keys to Capers’ cell from a guard, which they then used to open the convict’s unit.

Capers was stabbed multiple times in the head, neck and stomach.

“There are just far too many problems that have been neglected to be addressed for far too long,” Bamberg said. “Things like safety, things like changing out the locking system, things like having a proper staffing—al of these would have prevented this from happening to Allen Capers.

The lawsuit also says Turbeville was under-staffed and ill-prepared to deal with riots or serious crises.

Capers, 32, was part of a large brawl that left eight others injured. He’d been imprisoned since 2005; charged with possession of marijuana in 2015, his sentence was extended. The Post and Courier say his expected release was some time in 2026.


An inmate who was stabbed was left to die in a prison yard by correctional officers, lawsuit says

Charleston man killed during Turbeville prison fight on New Year’s Eve

Lawsuit: South Carolina prison guards left stabbing victim to die in yard

Video shows guards left inmate to die outside prison, family says

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