Tragic story- ex-DL employee dies of hunger strike, Chicago jail

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by Gargoyle, Jan 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gargoyle
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    This is a very tragic story, so much went wrong. A former DL employee, a native of India, died of a hunger strike in jail. Initially she ignored a summons for jury duty, but as a non citizen she isn't eligible for jury duty in the first place. She then resisted arrest when a deputy showed up at her door (judge sent the deputy to get her to explain her absence). The jury duty case was dropped but the resisting arrest charges lingered. She didn't show up for two more court appearances, so the judge ordered her arrest. On Dec. 14 she was put in the Lake County (suburban Chicago) jail, and she went on a hunger strike.

    Her attorney noticed her mental instability a few days into her incarceration, but jail staff did not notify the attorney about the hunger strike until day 13; next day she was transfered to a medical facility, where she died five days later.

    Afterwards, a search of her home turned of stacks of unopened mail, some 7 years old.

    She started as a Pan Am flight attendant in 1986, then when DL took over she became an in-flight training supervisor and in 1999 was nominated for the Chairman's Club award and in 2004, she moved to Atlanta to work at Delta headquarters. She was laid off 5 years ago and moved to Chicago; friends said she had began to show signs of mental instability.

    So unnecessary, this whole thing is a very sad mess.
     
  2. MLW20
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    That is a sad and crazy story.
     
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  3. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    Very sad,and unfair , in the end she will be forgotten and no one will be punished. We think judges are are smart and fair ,THEY ARE NOT -- to send out an officer to arrest someone for jury duty !!-- he must think he is the king and forgot that we do not live in a kingdom
     
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    If there were no consequences for not showing up for jury duty, who would show up other than those who are bored at their day job and continue to get their regular pay while on jury duty?

    The jury summons I have seen make it very clear that non-citizens aren't required (or allowed) to participate, but you are still required to respond by checking the "not a citizen" checkbox.

    I could imagine lots of ways this could have been avoid.
     
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  5. Gargoyle
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    It seems probable that she never opened the letter in the first case, and may well have had organization/structure issues that kept her from understanding/remembering the court dates. Once she was in custody, it appears no one paid attention or cared about her mental health and physical health issues; she fell through the cracks years ago and continued to fall through those cracks after her arrest.
     
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  6. icurhere2
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    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    And that's the point. My first question was how she initially got into the jury pool, which the article does a fair job of explaining:

    If the jury summons form is consistent, the individual should have completed the process to exclude oneself from service and/or shown up for the second hearing when she was summoned to explain the absence. The individual should have never reached the point where the visa was expired, or of resisting arrest; there are so many layers when complying with a regulation/lawful order would have helped.
     
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  7. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    From the story it sounds like many things went terribly wrong in this case (including the issuance of the summons in the first place), but the judge's attempting to enforce the summons is not one of those things.
     
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  8. icurhere2
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    The individual failed to report for at least four summons letters, according to the article.
     
  9. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    Individual didn't open 7 year old mail. She should have been sent for psychiatric evaluation and given proper medical care instead of being thrown in jail.
     
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  10. Gargoyle
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    And her lawyer should have been informed within the first two days of the hunger strike, not on day 13.
     
  11. FLYERIL
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    FLYERIL Silver Member

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    Yes, but how would that have been known without searching her home, for which there appeared no basis for doing.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Exactly.

    In my county they pull jury duty candidates from voter registration lists and drivers license records. They don't necessarily know the immigration status of registered drivers, so the summons has a simple checkbox where the recipient can state Under penalty of perjury that they are not a citizen and thus not eligible for jury duty. Just needs to be mailed in. It won't remove the recipient from the list, though, as citizenship status can change, but it takes care of the current summons.

    Of course, in order for this to work one has to actually open the letter, read it, understand it, and then act.

    I'd bet cash that the woman didn't behave rationally in court either.
     
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  13. icurhere2
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    The "7-year old unopened mail" item is a red herring put in by the author - would someone be able to provide current documentation five years ago for the drivers license and still be staying in a hotel (where the system knew she currently resided) if she read none of the mail? In fact, the story starts with "mail, much of it unopened, going back seven years", as in some indeed was opened. In the next sentence, the author does not say the original summons was unopened, merely "in that pile was the jury summons that marked the beginning of Gomes' fatal downward spiral".

    Someone could break into my safe and find unopened financial statements dating back to the 1990's. From this, do you assume that I'm mentally ill or that I quickly look at the sender and choose what needs to be opened and what needs to be saved?
     
  14. Bluto
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    I agree it is a tragedy. However, all of us suffer little injustices throughout the week: someone cuts us off in traffic, the airline messes up my booking, the camera I ordered from Amazon breaks after 2 weeks, a jury summons shows up in the mail incorrectly to an ineligible person. We all bear responsibility for not letting these little injustices mushroom into grave tragedies. Open your mail, check the box, and return the form. Tragedy averted. The victim here isn't blameless.
     
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  15. TheTravelAbstract

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    Her erratic actions are more of a sign that she may have been unstable. I would imagine people build a profile of a "criminal" by looking at every facet of their lives. Including their living standards and the way their life is organized.

    The more telling quote about her mental illness is elsewhere in the article.
    The point being that the article in its entirety seems to slant towards her needing medical care for here hunger streak or at the very least telling her lawyers.
     

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