Alabama prisoner days from freedom dies after beating left him brain dead, family says

In a shocking and tragic incident, 22-year-old Daniel Terry Williams, an inmate at Staton Correctional Facility in Alabama, succumbed to injuries sustained during a brutal beating just 14 days before his scheduled release. Williams, serving a 12-month sentence for first-degree theft, was reportedly subjected to a days-long assault involving physical abuse, torture, and sexual assault, as revealed in a GoFundMe post by his family.

The family made the difficult decision to remove life support on November 5, after medical professionals declared Williams brain dead. Following this, he was transferred to the medical unit at Kilby Correctional Facility, where he passed away on November 9. The GoFundMe campaign has been initiated to seek assistance for funeral expenses.

This incident further highlights the ongoing crisis in Alabama’s prisons. Federal authorities have been investigating violence within the state’s prison system since 2019, when the U.S. Department of Justice reported severe conditions violating the civil rights of inmates. The lawsuit, filed in 2020, accuses the state of inadequately addressing prison-on-prisoner violence and sexual assault.

Alabama’s prison system has been grappling with staffing shortages, prompting discussions about the construction of a new 4,000-bed prison, estimated to cost over $1 billion. However, advocates for prisoners argue that the state should prioritize releasing inmates before investing in new facilities. The Alabama Department of Corrections, currently holding nearly 20,000 individuals in facilities designed for 12,000, recorded 1,897 total assaults in the first eight months of the year.

Bryan Stevenson, Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a Montgomery-based nonprofit advocating for inmates, expressed the need for urgent action. “Deaths like that of Mr. Williams are tragic, preventable, and happen all too frequently in Alabama’s prisons,” Stevenson stated. EJI contends that many incidents involve dismissals of medical emergencies by untrained officers, emphasizing the necessity for improved healthcare within the prison system.

Leave a Comment