Florida Death Row Inmate Says He Was Bitten By Rat, Files Grievance

In a headline you don’t read every day, David Ovalle’s story for the Miami Herald, published as “Miami-Dade inmate alleges rat bit him near eye“, details a grievance filed by death row inmate Wadada DelHall.

DelHall says he was sleeping in his cell when a rat crawled onto his face and bit him close to his right eye. From the story:

The convicted murderer complained to jailers, his lawyer said Friday, but wasn’t given medical attention until his face swelled.

DelHall, 36, has filed a formal grievance. The episode comes as corrections workers try to curb conditions at the main jail that some employees say have led to a rat infestation.

The article goes on to detail the prison’s aging conditions and complaints from the staff there as well:

Last month, state health inspectors investigated conditions at the aging, run-down jail after an employee complained that “rats can be seen running rampant.”

The employee, civilian administrator Greg Rollins, wrote in a letter that inmates are forced to throw food into hallways to keep rats from coming into their cells. On a recent day, the complaint wrote, a large rat fell from the ceiling in an employee dining area as they ate their meals.

Many of the inmates I’ve spoken with complain of the prison conditions, voicing grievances that as, Ovalle notes, are not new. “In August 2011, a U.S. Department of Justice found that conditions at the county’s jails pose serious health risks to inmates.”

Related Reading:

A Look Inside Florida’s Death Row

Living and Dying on Florida’s Death Row

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