ACLU of Delaware Seeks Information About Inmate's 2014 Death - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

ACLU of Delaware Seeks Information About Inmate's 2014 Death

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WILMINGTON, Del. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware has filed a lawsuit to obtain information about the 2014 death of an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Natalie Way is the mother of the victim, Jason Cunningham, as well as the administrator of his estate and the plaintiff in the suit. She says the only facts disclosed to her about her son’s detention and death on April 18, 2014, was that on the day he was taken into custody by the Department of Corrections, he was placed in a four-point restraint and left unmonitored in a cell. DOC officials told her he was found dead in a cell later that day.

Way says she and other relatives have tried unsuccessfully to learn what happened to Cunningham in the time leading up to his death.

“Out of respect for me and my family and all of the people that loved Jason so much, prison officials need to tell us how and why Jason died, Way said. “It shows a profound lack of compassion that we have had to file a lawsuit to get the answers that we deserved a year ago.”

The ACLU of Delaware agreed to act as counsel to Way so that she could obtain the records without court action.

“The death of anyone in state custody is unacceptable,” said ACLU Delaware’s Executive Director Kathleen MacRae. “When an unfortunate event like the death of Jason Cunningham occurs, it is important that the family and the public know the facts to ensure that the Department of Corrections is held to constitutional standards.”

Preliminary police investigation into Cunningham’s death showed no sign of foul play.

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