Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! each month for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $10 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Friday, November 5, 1999 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Is Your Cereal Genetically Engineered?
1999-11-05

Closing Arguments End in Corcoran Prison Brutality Trial

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

Closing arguments ended yesterday in the trial of four prison guards accused of setting up the rape of a prisoner in the state’s notorious Corcoran State Prison near Fresno, California. Prosecutors said that the officers put Eddie Dillard, a 118 pound prisoner, in a cell with 6-foot-2, 220 pound Wayne Robertson, a notorious inmate nicknamed "the Booty Bandit" with a long history of raping cellmates. Dillard had listed Robertson as a personal enemy prior to the incident, which took place in 1993. Dillard was left in Robertson’s cell for two days, where he was repeatedly raped. Prosecutors say the guards set up the rape to punish Dillard for kicking a fellow officer.

Two of the guards, Anthony Silva and Dale Brakebill, took the stand last week and denied that they knew ahead of time that Dillard would be raped.

The trial has included testimony from Dillard, as well as from a whistleblower–former prison guard Roscoe Poindexter, known as the "Bone Crusher," who participated in many incidents of brutality. Poindexter testified that the guards knew of Robertson’s reputation and intended for Dillard to be raped.

Trial observers are expecting a quick verdict and say that it is very likely to end with the acquittal of the four guards. The outcome of this case could have implications for the upcoming trial of several other Corcoran Prison guards accused of setting up "turkey shoots" in the prison yard. In the "turkey shoots," guards put prisoners who were known enemies together in the yard, took bets on who would win fights, and shot the prisoners as they were fighting.

Guest:

  • Tom Quinn, investigator who has worked on cases around brutality in Corcoran Prison.

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.