A prisoner gets $15.5 million after being left in solitary confinement -- to the point of neglect -- for 22 months. On March 6, NBC News reported that 59-year-old Stephen Slevin was left alone for so long that he was forced to pull out his own tooth because he "wasn't allowed to see a dentist."
"His mental health has been severely compromised from the time he was in that facility. That continues to be the same. No amount of money will bring back what they took away from him. But it’s nice to be able to get him some money so he can improve where he is in life and move on," said Matt Coyte, Slevin's Albuquerque-based attorney.
So the prisoner gets $15.5 million -- but is he a criminal that is going to use the money to buy drugs and/or hurt others? Unlikely. Slevin was in a New Mexico jail serving time for DWI. His mistreatment is made worse by the fact that he wasn't serving time for murder or some other more serious crime.
Slevin originally requested $22 million and that amount was granted in Jan. There was an appeal, however, and the finalized amount was announced today. He will receive the first $6 million by the end of this week and the rest of the money will be paid out in installments over the next week or so according to NBC News.
The prisoner gets $15.5 million but the money isn't really what he wanted. According to his attorney, Slevin wanted recognition of how poorly he was treated. "He's had lots of difficulties over the years. I don't think he will stop having difficulties. The courage he had in the trial was magnificent," Coyte said.
Stephen Slevin has been diagnosed with lung cancer and it is unknown how much time he has left. He will not, however, have to worry about money any time soon.
© Effie Orfanides 2013