By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
An inmate who previously escaped from a detention facility in Chicago filed a lawsuit against the government demanding ten million dollars in damages resulting from his escape caper failed to convince the Seventh Circuit of his claim’s merit, but the court at least acknowledged his lawsuit “gets credit for chutzpah.”
The jailbreak occurred in 2012 when plaintiff Jose Banks and a cellmate rappelled down seventeen stories down a high-rise corrections center using a rope constructed of sheets and dental floss. He managed to hail a cab and evade law enforcement for several days before recapture.
Banks claimed among other things that he suffered emotional injury from the trauma of fearing for his life as he dangled from the makeshift rope used in his escape.
Surprisingly, officials dropped the escape charges after claiming that he was already sentenced to a decades long term of incarceration. Banks was originally convicted of Bank Robbery.
Not surprisingly, Banks represented himself in the civil action against the government. He claimed his cellmate coerced him into participation in the breakout which took months to plan. He cited the guards as being negligent for not noticing their effort to chisel a hole through the wall that allowed the two to escape.
He further claimed that he suffered from the jail’s lockdown restrictions instituted as a result of the escape and suffered damage to his reputation, “humiliation and embarrassment” and injury to his “spiritual constitution”.
The Seventh Circuit disagreed, declaring that “no one has a personal right to be better guarded or more securely restrained, so as to be unable to commit a crime.”
By Darren Smith
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