Inmate Melvin Turner Died In Custody At San Quentin Rehabilitation Center

prison-g441076801_640SAN QUENTIN, CALIFORNIA (February 29, 2024) – A death row inmate identified as Melvin Turner has died in custody at the San Quentin Rehabilitation Center.

San Quentin police officials are saying that the incident took place around 6:04 p.m. on Saturday. Melvin Turner was first placed on condemned status in 1979.

The conditions leading up to this death remain unclear at this time. A full investigation into the death of Melvin Turner is ongoing.


Liability For San Quentin Inmate Deaths

Deaths in custody remain alarmingly common throughout California and the United States. These deaths are due to a wide variety of causes. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In 2019, the shares of state prisoners who died from drug or alcohol intoxication (6.6%), homicide (3.7%), and suicide (8.1%) reached their highest levels since the MCI began collecting data on deaths in state prisons.” Many different factors within a jail could make an inmate’s death more likely.

  • Inmate deaths are more likely when jails are overcrowded.
  • Inmate deaths are more likely when jails fail to prevent dangerous drugs like fentanyl from entering the jail system.
  • Inmate deaths are more likely when jails fail to follow safety regulations.

It is possible for a jail or private healthcare provider to be liable if an inmate dies in their care. The United States Supreme Court has held in Estelle v. Gambele that inmates have a constitutional right to receive healthcare. Failing to give inmates adequate care is a form of cruel and unusual punishment and is therefore prohibited. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate’s death.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • The inmate’s medical history should be understood.
  • The inmate’s medical records in the jail should be sought.
  • An independent autopsy may need to be performed.

Inmate deaths are often highly preventable. This is particularly true when any death is due to a suicide or drug overdose. Inmates are supposed to be adequately monitored during their stay, but far too often this does not happen. The family of any person who died in jail may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of charge and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating San Quentin Inmate Deaths

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Melvin Turner. Every inmate deserves decency and adequate care, regardless of what they are being accused of. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened.

Do you need more information about a death at the San Quentin Rehabilitation Center? Our team of civil rights attorneys is here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are doing everything that they can to keep inmates safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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