The state of Texas has been the subject of multiple lawsuits over its insistence on killing state prisoners with heat stroke as they sit in jails without air conditioning. It turns out that Texas would not even subject actual swine to the same conditions.
A new lawsuit from the mother of a Texas prisoner who overheated and died says that 14 Texas prisoners have died that way since 2007 in the dozens of state prisons that lack air conditioning in the prisoner housing areas. Summer temperatures routinely climb over 100 degrees indoors. Now, even prison guards are complaining. With good reason. The Wall Street Journal reports:
Union officials said corrections officers have complained to Texas prison officials that the heat index inside facilities is often as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but haven't been able to persuade them to make changes. They said they were driven to speak out after learning that the state spent $750,000 in June to buy six new barns with exhaust fans and misters to cool pigs raised for inmate consumption.
"We don't keep our animals in these type of conditions and that speaks volumes," said Lance Lowry, who worked as a corrections officer for 13 years and is now president of the Hunstville, Texas-based local of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Union, which represents many state prison workers.