Huge Wrongful Death Verdict

The GEO Group has just been slapped with a $6.5 million verdict for the wrongful death of a prisoner in their facility in Lawton, Oklahoma. In 2005, Ronald Sites was strangled to death by his cellmate. During the course of the trial, attorneys for Sites’ family demonstrated gross negligence on the part of the staff at the facility. 

The killer had actually spent time in solitary confinement previously for threatening to kill his cellmate. He had previously stabbed another inmate and been found to be in possession of a weapon twice while incarcerated.

Sites was supposed to be in protective custody for crying out loud; a classification which should have prevented him from being housed with any other prisoners. Not only was he housed with multiple prisoners while in PC; he was housed with one that had a history of violence and had previously talked about killing his cellmate.

$6.5 million wasn’t nearly enough. Two of the jurors were pushing for a penalty of $25 million to be imposed, but they were overruled during deliberations. I’m sure this isn’t justice for Mr. Sites’ family; hopefully it will at least serve as a wake-up call to the GEO Group to have them clean up their act.

But honestly, I doubt it will.