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Alabama Department of Corrections investigating death at Holman prison

Eddie Burkhalter

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A man serving at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility died nine days into the new year, according to a statement from the Alabama Department of Corrections. 

Antonio Bell, 29, was pronounced dead at the Escambia County prison on Jan 9, according to the statement. 

“Bell’s cause of death is pending a full autopsy. ADOC’s Investigations and Intelligence Division actively is investigating the case and more information will be available upon the conclusion of the investigation into Bell’s death,” the statement reads. 

Bell was serving a 20-year sentence for Escape I, according to the ADOC statement. 

Bell’s death followed just nine days after the last death inside Alabama prisons in 2019. 

Moses Robinson, 38, died on Dec. 31 from injuries he received after being attacked by another inmate at the prison on Dec. 30, according to a statement from ADOC spokeswoman Samantha Banks. 

Robinson’s death was at least the fourteenth homicide in state prisons during 2019, and at least the twenty-eighth person to have died as a result from either homicide, drug overdose or suicide last year. 

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Alabama’s prison homicide rate is almost nine times the national average for state prisons, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics figures. 

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A report released in April by the U.S Department of Justice followed a lengthy federal investigation into the state’s prisons for men, which found that Alabama is potentially violating inmates’ Constitutional protections under the Eighth Amendment and its prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. 

The DOJ found that the Alabama Department of Corrections failed to protect inmates from protection from sexual assaults and violence. Severe overcrowding in the understaffed prisons are contributing to the violence, the DOJ found.

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