Guy Dies in Jail Cell After Guards Ig...

Guy Dies in Jail Cell After Guards Ignore His Allergies

There are 63 comments on the WHLO-AM Akron story from Nov 7, 2013, titled Guy Dies in Jail Cell After Guards Ignore His Allergies. In it, WHLO-AM Akron reports that:

Michael Saffioti was in Washington's Snohomish County Jail on a minor marijuana possession charge - the 22-year-old had actually turned himself in.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WHLO-AM Akron.

“....VETS”

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#43 Nov 9, 2013
Spotted Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
Then tell that to my county. There are no comforts. Most of what drinks they gave you are diluted. 50% generic soft drink with water. I am sure that is for cost-cutting measures, but there are health benefits. If you don't know anyone on the outside, it is heck, since if you need anything else like snacks or stationery, you have to buy it, and you could have plenty of money in the bank, but it doesn't help with the canteen unless you can somehow get it from the bank to the commissary. Then you only have 1 day of the week to apply to use the commissary, and fulfillment takes 3 days. So if you have to reach someone on the outside, and assuming you can afford the canteen, it may take a week and a half to two weeks to get a letter to someone. And if you have bought from canteen and are released before fulfillment, then if you don't come by within 3 days, you don't get any product nor a refund. It is forfeited.
A lot of stuff that people think are rights, they don't actually get in jail. They are usually not be read their rights down this way unless it is a felony. The "free phone call" bit is a joke. They get around that by giving you access to a broken phone, but you can't use your own working cell phone. That is one of the first things they take at booking, if not at time of arrest. After that, the phone in the "rec area" only can make collect calls, and you have to enter your inmate number each time so it will authorize you to make a call.
The term "rec time" is a misnomer. There is no gym, no weights, and you don't go outside, at least not if in any type of segregation, regardless of the reason (whether being a particularly vulnerable inmate, committing certain unpopular crimes, committing infractions in the jail, or attempting suicide). About all you can do at rec time is take a shower, walk around, ask for forms, or call someone if you can.
Oh, and contacting your lawyer is hard to do, and not anything fast. Legal aid doesn't take collect calls, and if you are arraigned, you are told to contact legal aid to be assigned an attorney. So if they have a broken phone at booking, and collect-only phones elsewhere, then how the heck can you do that? Oh, you can write them, but you have to have stationery, and if you have no funds in the canteen account, you might go on to your next appearance in shackles and without a lawyer.
Oh, and is lying on a metal frame with just 2 sheets the comforts of home, or there being a light on in your cell 24-7? Plus it is set up where you can't possibly follow all the rules, so they could write you up at any time they want. For instance, one of the rules is not to be outside the bed at other than designated times. That is not unreasonable. However, after a while, you lose track of time. There are no clocks around, so how would you know if they don't tell you when the designated times are? I guess the food served is a clue. If you get a carton of spoiled milk and a cup of dilute juice, then it must be early morning.
For some people, all the above is actually a step up. Alcoholics and the homeless often improve their health in there. The food they give you in there won't put much weight on you, but it is more than what the homeless eat, and they can take daily showers if they want.
And no, don't ask. ;-)
you tell them , I obey the laws of masses..aka[the land] jail is a holding tank ...prison is supposed to be for punishment not a rest home.. and get a better lawyer after all you are paying .. court appointed ..too bad then

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#44 Nov 9, 2013
tallyho wrote:
<quoted text>
you tell them , I obey the laws of masses..aka[the land] jail is a holding tank ...prison is supposed to be for punishment not a rest home.. and get a better lawyer after all you are paying .. court appointed ..too bad then
Exactly. But like I said, depending on the jail, it can be as bad or worse than prison, though on principle, it is supposed to be just like you said.

Oh, and appointed lawyers are not that bad down here. A lot of cities don't have legal aid agencies, so you get the same lawyers you would hire if you hired your own, with the difference being you can choose who you hire. So a bad lawyer is a bad lawyer whether working for legal aid agency or for general hire.

At a hearing down this way, the attorney came across like he was a former prosecutor who forgot which side he was on. The ADA never asked him or his client about why he had the drugs, and the attorney volunteered the answer and shot down his client's own affirmative defense. "Well, your honor, my client says that he was using it for medical reasons, but he has no prescription..." What the judge said next was so funny, "If you can prove you are going to die in the next 5 minutes without it, I will let you light up a joint in my courtroom." He didn't assert that he was going to die. Another drug case presided by the same judge had 2 guys with 2 different lawyers each pointing the finger at the other with the possession. They might have both been found not guilty, since they both used the same defense that they didn't have sole possession of the vehicle in which the pot was found.

“....VETS”

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#45 Nov 9, 2013
assume you are talking arraignment

Arraignment is usually a criminal defendant's first appearance in court or before a judge on a criminal charge. At arraignment, the charges against the defendant will be read or the defendant will be asked if he/she is aware of the charges against them, and will be asked how they wish to plead. It is not a hearing to determine guilt or innocence.

REPEAT:
It is not a hearing to determine guilt or innocence.

“....VETS”

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#46 Nov 9, 2013
one more point they weren't found to be in possession of the vehicle , but the POT

“The Spotted Girl News Network”

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#47 Nov 9, 2013
tallyho wrote:
one more point they weren't found to be in possession of the vehicle , but the POT
No, that was the actual hearing, not the first appearance with the questions about the lawyers and stuff. It was a probable cause hearing, not a jury trial, and not arraignment. Right, the case was about the weed, not the vehicle, but each lawyer argued that because the vehicle that contained the drug was jointly possessed (no pun intended), then there was no way to prove who actually owned the pot. Each would blame the other to create reasonable doubt for themselves.

“Tickle me Pink.”

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#48 Nov 9, 2013
Always Wary wrote:
He did inquire, that is the point of the video, it took months for the mother to acquire it and the authorities kept denying it existed.
It seems none of you have severe food allergies. Trips to a restaurant are pointless, the serving staff and often the chefs and cooks don't seem to grasp what "dairy" entails. I would bet at a jail it would be even worse.
And some allergies are severe enough that even the smell alone (even just a little) could induce anaphylactic shock and/or asthma-like behaviour.

“....VETS”

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#49 Nov 9, 2013
Spotted Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
No, that was the actual hearing, not the first appearance with the questions about the lawyers and stuff. It was a probable cause hearing, not a jury trial, and not arraignment. Right, the case was about the weed, not the vehicle, but each lawyer argued that because the vehicle that contained the drug was jointly possessed (no pun intended), then there was no way to prove who actually owned the pot. Each would blame the other to create reasonable doubt for themselves.
understand this.... it is a HEARING aka arraignment, the charges against the defendant will be read...it is not a hearing to determine guilt or innocence.

this doesn't go before a Grand Jury the BANC...judge of a court will decide .....

the pot is in their [jointly "accidental pun" possession]
so the charges can just be amended

“The Spotted Girl News Network”

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#50 Nov 9, 2013
tallyho wrote:
<quoted text>
understand this.... it is a HEARING aka arraignment, the charges against the defendant will be read...it is not a hearing to determine guilt or innocence.
this doesn't go before a Grand Jury the BANC...judge of a court will decide .....
the pot is in their [jointly "accidental pun" possession]
so the charges can just be amended
It was their 2nd appearance. The first was the arraignment where they got to decide their plea and legal arrangements. The 2nd was a probable cause hearing, a judge trial as opposed to a jury trial. In district court, you can appeal to a jury trial.

I am speaking of district court, not superior court which you seem to be speaking about. For that, they do the grand jury and then the trial.

And it was weird about the woman who was in district court with a felony charge. Obviously someone goofed on preparing the docket. But the ADA went ahead and asked her what she wanted to do for the aggravated assault with intent to kill charge. She said she wanted to defend herself. The ADA said that she could not legally give advice in the matter, but that off the record, her advice was to get a good lawyer. And she said she was facing 21 years. The woman said she didn't care and that it isn't like she hadn't done time before. With that sour attitude, we can only imagine where she went.

And what most people don't know is that small claims court usually isn't presided by a judge, but a civil magistrate, and that the "small claims court" shows are usually really binding arbitration instead, though they usually use real/retired judges, and sometimes even former justices.

Oh, it is funny how Judge Wopner (sp?) was moved from People's Court to Animal Court. So the cases involve things like dog bites, animal abuse, dog fowling, property damage, etc.

“....VETS”

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#51 Nov 9, 2013
you can not be denied a jury trial

EXCEPT: In the US this normally occurs for 'infractions'(very minor violations of the law such as a speeding ticket)....the case is heard by a judge and settled on the spot.

“....VETS”

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#52 Nov 9, 2013
the second appearance is a depostion

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#53 Nov 9, 2013
tallyho wrote:
you can not be denied a jury trial
EXCEPT: In the US this normally occurs for 'infractions'(very minor violations of the law such as a speeding ticket)....the case is heard by a judge and settled on the spot.
Okay, now we are in agreement. Just because you have a right to a jury trial, it doesn't mean you need it. A probable cause hearing (probably wrong terminology, since I am no lawyer nor play one) is the first step in district court after arraignment. If you have no problem with the outcome, you can stop there. Or you can request a jury trial as the first appeal from there. Some people will try to demand a jury trial from the start, but that removes a layer of procedure, so less chance to fix things, and a lawyer would not recommend that. In my state, a misdemeanor is more or less defined as any crime which gets you less than a year of jail as the maximum possible sentence. So those are tried in district court, and start as a probably cause trial. You can go to the jury level if you have to, as you have that right, but you often don't need to. But after that point, I understand appellate court is a different realm of law, where the job is not to decide guilt, but to determine if the procedure was correct and if the law was correctly applied.

For instance, there was Bower v. Hardwick in Georgia. It was unusual and irregular from the start. It was a couple of minor charges and a charge that was technically a felony, but one most didn't believe should be on the books. A bartender, Michael Hardwick, threw a bottle outside and missed the trash. He staggered over to the garbage can to properly dispose of it. Maybe he started to fall a time or two. Something about him caught the attention of an officer, and when approached, I assume he spoke to the officer with slurred speech. Anyway, he was booked on public intoxication (not littering as some assumed since he did pick it up, and it was private property). Well, the court made a mistake. The officer was given one date, but the court clerk put another on the docket. So he goes to court, and his name is not on the docket. He missed the date he was never told about, and a bench warrant was issued. An officer went out to serve the bench warrant for the unwitting failure to appear, and some drunk friend of the guy passed out on the sofa answered the door. The officer asked where Hardwick was, and he pointed to the bedroom. The door was ajar and the officer walked in and caught him and another man violating Georgia's sodomy ban together. So they were arrested. By the time all of this got to the DA's office, the DA was not willing to pursue any of the alleged offenses. Yet the case was still appealed. I guess that is why the naming convention is irregular, why it says Bower rather than the State of Georgia as the appellant. The ACLU were the ones pushing for it to be appealed. And it made it all the way to SCOTUS, where, at the time, they upheld the state's right to have that law. That set a precedent for a number of years, which I understand was overturned in Lawrence v. Texas in 2002 or whenever.

“....VETS”

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#54 Nov 9, 2013
glancing through the above is a ton of different issues not related to this ...

he was informed of his next appearance

the warrant is for failure to appear so any other discoveries are not admissible

other words it was for the arrest only of the suspect...

“ Woodstock Anyone?”

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#55 Nov 9, 2013
Spotted Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
What I said was tailored to one specific person and ONLY as a direct reply to what they said. What it means is that you should know the track record of jails and prisons is not that good, and use that as an incentive to try to avoid going in the first place. And yes, it is wise to address the health needs of inmates. As shoddy as the system is, many who are innocent of what they were charged of are behind bars. So it could have been any of us.
BTW, I usually speak in generalities. It is sad that this guy ended up dead over a petty dope charge.
I was hoping you would clarify your opinion. You did that. Thank you. My response to your post was not intended to be contentious or bothersome. I'll try not to address your posts until you post me directly.

“The Spotted Girl News Network”

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#56 Nov 10, 2013
tallyho wrote:
glancing through the above is a ton of different issues not related to this ...
he was informed of his next appearance
the warrant is for failure to appear so any other discoveries are not admissible
other words it was for the arrest only of the suspect...
The magistrate or whoever gave Michael Hardwick the wrong court date. He went on the date he was given and he was not on the docket. One more reason charges were dropped. The court would have to admit they screwed up.

Yes, the bench warrant was for failure to appear and the suspect was caught engaging in what was then a crime. Discoveries might be admissible if in plain sight. The bedroom door was ajar and it was necessary to open it to make the arrest. So the act of sodomy was plainly evident to the officer. The DA was not interested in pursuing the sodomy, not based on the way it was found, but the fact that he never applied it to straight couples. If you apply it unequally, that draws scrutiny. Yes, it was a crime for all, but drawing attention to gay people doing it would draw attention to the many times the law was not used for others. So too much of a political hot potato. And the ACLU wanted it appealed hoping SCOTUS would call the law unconstitutional. It didn't at that time.

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#57 Nov 10, 2013
modernhippie wrote:
<quoted text>
I was hoping you would clarify your opinion. You did that. Thank you. My response to your post was not intended to be contentious or bothersome. I'll try not to address your posts until you post me directly.
That's okay, it is a public forum. I tend to post things light-heartedly, but they can be mistaken for being mean or insensitive at times.

“....VETS”

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#58 Nov 10, 2013
Spotted Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
The magistrate or whoever gave Michael Hardwick the wrong court date. He went on the date he was given and he was not on the docket. One more reason charges were dropped. The court would have to admit they screwed up.
Yes, the bench warrant was for failure to appear and the suspect was caught engaging in what was then a crime. Discoveries might be admissible if in plain sight. The bedroom door was ajar and it was necessary to open it to make the arrest. So the act of sodomy was plainly evident to the officer. The DA was not interested in pursuing the sodomy, not based on the way it was found, but the fact that he never applied it to straight couples. If you apply it unequally, that draws scrutiny. Yes, it was a crime for all, but drawing attention to gay people doing it would draw attention to the many times the law was not used for others. So too much of a political hot potato. And the ACLU wanted it appealed hoping SCOTUS would call the law unconstitutional. It didn't at that time.
lets stay on one law at a time....man's right wasn't violated on warrant search....whether the door was open or closed doesn't make a different ....

now the gay charge is an illegal event ...but that is a state law

“The Spotted Girl News Network”

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#59 Nov 10, 2013
tallyho wrote:
<quoted text>
lets stay on one law at a time....man's right wasn't violated on warrant search....whether the door was open or closed doesn't make a different ....
now the gay charge is an illegal event ...but that is a state law
Whatever. That whole case was a comedy of errors. Do have a question. Since the original charge that sparked the Bower v. Hardwick decision started with a public intoxication charge, does it matter if you own or represent the property you are standing outside of and staggering around? Is the grounds of your house or workplace "public?"

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#60 Nov 10, 2013
Oh, there is a song about that case I'm mentioning. Here are some of the lyrics:

"Now Michael was entertaining a guest,
when the officer walked right in and made the arrest.
Who would have thought the courts would uphold,
an archaic law that's 100 years old.
The danger's not what's in our mouths,
but the mouthful of bigotry which they espouse,
referring to God and the Heavens above,
to legislate how we make love.
...
We've got to repeal the laws that remain,
'cause what happened in Georgia
must not happen again.
So roll up your sleeves and join in the fight,
we're not giving in til we've gotten our rights.
'cause we're being screwed all the time,
by laws that make our way of screwing a crime.
They're relying on years of repression and shame
to justify more of the same."

“....VETS”

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#61 Nov 11, 2013
Spotted Girl wrote:
<quoted text>
Whatever. That whole case was a comedy of errors. Do have a question. Since the original charge that sparked the Bower v. Hardwick decision started with a public intoxication charge, does it matter if you own or represent the property you are standing outside of and staggering around? Is the grounds of your house or workplace "public?"
just think a sec..not being facetious .. you are in public view.... so no it doesn't outside of your four walls.. you are subject to the laws of decency

“The Spotted Girl News Network”

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#62 Nov 11, 2013
tallyho wrote:
<quoted text>
just think a sec..not being facetious .. you are in public view.... so no it doesn't outside of your four walls.. you are subject to the laws of decency
That is what I thought. But on other things it might matter. Like littering. You might not be charged with littering on your own property, though you might still be charged with something else. If I'm not mistaken, if you own the property, then you are not legally considered to be littering. However, you would if the trash leaves the premises (like a wrapper getting sucked out a car window or a gust blowing trash out of your yard into the street or another yard). And there would be a whole other set of violations, like zoning and property appearance laws, fire code, etc.

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