Inmate Passes Away Under Care of NDOC
Eric Bueno, a 45-year-old former inmate, has passed away under the care of Nevada’s Department of Corrections. According to reports from the state, Bueno, inmate number 1272631, was declared deceased on August 28, 2023.
Right now, no further information has been released regarding the cause of death or what could’ve happened to Bueno. An autopsy has been requested, so further details should emerge in the coming days.
The Department of Corrections confirmed that the inmate had just transferred to the NDOC from Washoe County just a few weeks earlier on July 26, 2023. Bueno was serving 4 to 10 years for possession of a controlled substance.
The appropriate family members have been notified about the tragic ordeal, and a press release regarding the situation has been officially released.
Is There Any Recourse After a Wrongful Death in Prison?
While criminals should face justice through the legal system, getting found guilty of a crime does not mean that a person loses all their inherent rights. Getting convicted of possessing a controlled substance should never be a death sentence.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, inmates may lose their right to be free for a period of time, but they do retain some rights.
Under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, for instance, prison officials have a legal duty to provide for the safety of prisoners. Under this clause, prison staff must take reasonable steps to protect inmates from both assault from other prisoners, excessive force from other guards, and suicide attempts.
Clearly, prison guards are not all-powerful, so they can’t prevent every attack, especially considering they’re already attempting to house some dangerous criminals. What they can do, though, is uphold their legal duty of care by taking reasonable steps to ensure these assaults don’t happen.
One thing prison staff can do to uphold their duty of care is to ensure that prison conditions do not create an unreasonable risk of assault. When risks of assault are identified, prison staff must respond to the situation and attempt to resolve it.
If an assault or wrongful death situation does occur, then there might be legal recourse for the inmate or the loved ones of the deceased inmate. When prison guards fail to uphold their legal duty of care, they open up themselves and their prison to legal liability. Inmates, or the loved ones of an inmate who passed away, can pursue compensation for losses they endure as a result of negligent protection from prison security guards.
Compensation may come in the form of medical bills, pain and suffering, burial costs, a loss of consortium, and more depending on the specific circumstances of your situation. If you believe your rights might have been violated in prison or your loved one recently passed away under the care of prison staff, then your next steps should include consulting with an attorney who can help.
If you’re in Las Vegas or a nearby area, then we can help. Schedule a case review by using our online form now to get in touch with our law firm.