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Moody Speaks on Maine Prison Reform

Moody Speaks on Maine Prison Reform

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Published by Stan Moody
Packed lecture hall hears Stan Moody's release of "Death in B117," the story of the homicide of Sheldon Weinstein...
Packed lecture hall hears Stan Moody's release of "Death in B117," the story of the homicide of Sheldon Weinstein...

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Published by: Stan Moody on Nov 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/02/2010

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Rev. Stan Moody speaks on prison reform 
Posted: November 18ByLeslie Bridgers Staff writer WATERVILLE -- The Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition might have a hard time getting thefederal government to pursue an investigation into the 2009 death of a Maine prisoner, said theformer chaplain for the state prison.The coalition on Wednesday said it intends to ask the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S.Department of Justice to investigate the death of Victor Valdez, a 52-year-old Dominicanimmigrant, who was in prison following his conviction on a charge of aggravated assault.Rev. Stan Moody, the former prison chaplain, spoke at Colby College on Wednesday eveningabout prison reform. He said before his lecture that he'd encourage the coalition to pursue thefederal investigation."I don't know how firm a ground they're on with that case," said Moody. "Maybe it will work. If itdoes, that's good."Valdez's case was one of four suspicious Maine prison deaths in the past five years that Moodymentioned in his talk, titled "Criminal Justice: America's Hall of Shame."Coalition spokeswoman Judy Garvey said the group believes Valdez received "very roughtreatment" in prison and was denied medical care. Valdez did not speak English and was physically disabled, she said, which is why the coalition feels federal civil rights officials shouldget involved.Denise Lord, associate commissioner of the state Department of Corrections, said Valdez died of natural causes in a hospital and that state officials hoped a recent review by the state Departmentof the Attorney General would address concerns.In its decision, the attorney general's office ruled Valdez died of natural causes "brought on byserious medical conditions from which he suffered."Moody said the attorney general's office didn't find any evidence backing up the coalition's claims because Valdez's body was cremated without an autopsy, which should be performed on everyone

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