A New Mexico man has been awarded $22 million this week after it was found his constitutional rights were violated when he was held in solitary confinement for two years and even had to yank his own rotting tooth out of his mouth.
Stephen Slevin, 58, from New Mexico, as reported by the Daily Mail, received the huge 10-figure sum after bringing accusations against Dona Ana County jail for leaving him to rot after he was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
Authorities didn't give him the healthcare he needed and throughout his incarceration treated him inhumanely. Albuquerque civil rights attorney Matthew Coyte said his client then began to deteriorate while in isolation, according to CNN:
"They threw him in solitary and then ignored him," said Coyte. "He disappeared into delirium, and his mental illness was made worse by being isolated from human contact and a lack of medical care."
While standing outside the Santa Fe courthouse earlier this week, Mr. Slevin told reporters that the real point of his lawsuit was raising awareness about such inhumane treatment and trying to ensure that such an egregious breech of state power would not reoccur.
While he is out from his cell now, Slevin still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the mental and physical mistreatment corrections officers in New Mexico inflicted upon him.
MSNBC has more:
Slevin put his confinement in stark terms.
"Prison officials were walking by me every day, watching me deteriorate. Day after day after day, they did nothing, nothing at all, to get me any help," he said.
The 58-year-old was arrested in August 2005 and charged with driving while intoxicated and receiving a stolen vehicle near Las Cruces.
Civil rights attorney Matthew Coyte view it as a victory for basic Constitutional rights. "It's not good for Mr Slevin for sure and it's not good for this country. It has to stop," he said.
(h/t Daily Mail)