North Carolina Prisoner Signs Up For Fasting During Ramadan . . . Then Sues Jail For Withholding Lunch

SpellerTravaile Speller has a curious case against Mecklenburg County Jail for depriving him of lunch.  Speller is Muslim and was put on the traditional meal plan for Ramadan of two meals a day.  Speller has sued for major damages for “intentionally eliminating one whole meal (lunch) which is cruel and unusual punishment directed towards all Muslims.” The problem is that Speller reportedly signed up to participate in the Ramadan schedule, including the skipping of lunches. He now wants a jury trial and $250,000 in damages.

From May 15 to June 15, participating Muslims were limited to two meals each day: suhoor to be eaten before dawn and iftar to be eaten after sunset.

Speller signed up for the program on April 30th but does not believe that consent is a complete defense.
Yet in this filing, Speller insists that “My meals should not be diminished based on my religion, or because of my observance of my religious holiday.”

55 thoughts on “North Carolina Prisoner Signs Up For Fasting During Ramadan . . . Then Sues Jail For Withholding Lunch”

  1. Oh my!! This upstanding citizen needs a little guidance. Let’s just hope he didn’t find an attorney who would oblige this request. How stupid can people get??

  2. Hmmmm…Maybe he should actually read the Qu’ran and the Hadith?

    What would the punishment be decreed for signing up for Ramadan and then refusing to follow it?

    Narrated Abu Qilaba: “Anas said, “Some people of ‘Ukl or ‘Uraina tribe came to Medina and its climate did not suit them. So the Prophet ordered them to go to the herd of (Milch) camels and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). So they went as directed and after they became healthy, they killed the shepherd of the Prophet and drove away all the camels. The news reached the Prophet early in the morning and he sent (men) in their pursuit and they were captured and brought at noon. He then ordered to cut their hands and feet (and it was done), and their eyes were branded with heated pieces of iron, They were put in ‘Al-Harra’ and when they asked for water, no water was given to them.” Abu Qilaba said, “Those people committed theft and murder, became infidels after embracing Islam and fought against Allah and His Apostle . (Sahih Bukhari, Ablutions (Wudu’), Volume 1, Book 4, Number 234)”

    I’d say he has it pretty easy in a Western jail, where he may follow Ramadan, or not.

    1. That happens frequently and I am doubtful that the ‘true cause’ will never be made known to the public.

      1. A man in his early 30s has a chance of dying on the order of 0.14% in a. given year. There are about 650,000 men residing in county jails at any one time, so we should expect 900 or so deaths in the course of the year in the sum of American jails, background. To that you’d add any attributable to impetuous violence, to which jail inmates are more prone than ordinary people.

        1. So, you apparently are OK with poor or non-existent medical care, a guard instigating fights amoung the inmates or marginal starvation…..wait for it….wait for it….that is the price of breaking the law, right?

          One of several justice reform organizations….

          1. I’m not interested in your fantasies about the world we live in.

    1. In “Bama” I’m sure if they are doing hard labor they are getting $1.80 a day.

    2. How do things work in North Carolina?

      (Maybe there’s more to this story. If not, hopefully the lawsuit will be tossed, with repercussions for this guy…)

      1. Your tax dollars at work…..what ever happened to diversion programs?

          1. Anonymous,….
            It’s a good idea for you to keep expressing “yourself” 😏with links, rather than trying to actually write a comment.
            There’s probably a reason why posting links😴😴 ad infinatum works out better for you.

  3. It’s possible that he didn’t understand that practicing Ramadan meant fasting or that fasting meant a change in his meals. Not everyone who identifies with a particular religion understands all the traditions of that religion. Many people identify with one religion or another but don’t practice it, e.g. Christians who show up for church only on Christmas eve, Jews who don’t keep kosher, Muslims who don’t fast during Ramadan.

    1. bettykath:

      I suppose he might be a converted Muslim, who never observed Ramadan, never went to mosque, and never heard it discussed. When he went to jail, maybe he decided to get more serious about his religion, and checked all the Muslim observance boxes.

      However, at some point, did he ask why they did not serve him lunch? Did he say he changed his mind and, now that he understands that Ramadan is a fast and not Christmas or Hanukkah, no longer wants to observe it? Did he ask for his lunches back and they refused? Or did he go the entire month of fasting, without a word, and then complain? I wish we had that little nugget of information.

  4. Maybe if we, as a nation, wern’t so proud of being the ‘incarceration nation (5% of world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated) then none of tthis discussion would be necessary. Please join us Tuesday for the FAMM Organization’s ‘Families for Justice Reform Rally’ on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol to bring attention to the ‘First Step Act’ and the fact that it doesn’t go far enough to correct the age old mantra of ‘punish, punish and punish’ some more so you are not viewed as being ‘soft on crime.’ So, here we are talking about a person who has learned how to work the system. State and federal mandatory minimums are deplorable. Let me clarify that further. Putting folks in prison for ‘years’ for non-contact and non-violent offenses or focusing on shaming folks is not productive….we are all human, right?

    1. YRL – but that would deprive the private prison industry of their profits wouldn’t it?

      1. Have you ever looked to see how many politicians and families of politicians are invested in the private prison industry? Please do!

        1. umm YRL – I was being sarcastic! yeah, pols on both sides of the aisle taking money from the prison industry. Kamala Harris kept prisoners in for cheap labor.

          1. Sorry, I can’t differentiate between people on here wasting key strokes and thoughtful in-depth input.

              1. “During her time as San Francisco’s district attorney, Harris oversaw the city’s mismanaged crime lab. A San Francisco superior court judge ruled that the D.A.’s office ignored demands that it take responsibility for the lab’s failings, and that it violated defendants’ rights by hiding information about a corrupt technician who had been stealing cocaine.

                As attorney general of California, Harris challenged the release of a man who had been exonerated by the Innocence Project and had his conviction overturned. Harris argued that Daniel Larsen, who spent 13 years in prison for the crime of possessing a concealed knife, had not produced evidence of his innocence fast enough. A federal judge overturned his conviction after finding that Larsen had shown he was innocent, that the cops testifying at his trial weren’t credible, and that his attorney, since disbarred, was constitutionally ineffective because he had failed to call any witnesses.

                When the Supreme Court decided that California’s overcrowded prisons represented cruel and unusual punishment, Attorney General Harris fought a ruling ordering California to release some of its prisoners. Harris claims she had to fight the ruling for Gov. Jerry Brown. “I have a client, and I don’t get to choose my client,” she said. But the attorney general in California is an independent, elected position, not an appointee serving at the governor’s pleasure.

                She also refused to endorse sentencing reform measures on the ballot in 2012 and 2014, saying she couldn’t do so because she was responsible for producing an official explanation of the measures. John Van de Kamp, a Democrat who served as attorney general from 1983 to 1991, told The New York Times Magazine that her explanation was “baloney.” No statute prohibits attorneys general from endorsing ballot measures, and de Kamp himself endorsed three separate 1990 ballot measures while he held the office.”

                Once she won her Senate race her successor was Becarra, who had utilized the “services” of the Awan brothers spy masters brought in by the traitor-serpent Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

                You can’t even make this sh*t up! CA Dims are totally corrupt.


                1. oh, I didn’t even address the fact that she didn’t go after “foreclosure king” Mnuchin.

                  Jimmy Dore does a great job

          2. About 5% of those incarcerated in this country are housed by subcontractors. You’ve been told that and you keep flogging this stupid thesis.

            1. Let’s not forget “kids-for-cash”:

              Pa. Judge Sentenced To 28 Years In Massive Juvenile Justice Bribery Scandal

              August 11, 201111:29 AM ET


              “A Pennsylvania judge was sentenced to 28 years in prison in connection to a bribery scandal that roiled the state’s juvenile justice system. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking $1 million in bribes from developers of juvenile detention centers. The judge then presided over cases that would send juveniles to those same centers. The case came to be known as “kids-for-cash.”

              “The AP adds:

              “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court tossed about 4,000 convictions issued by Ciavarella between 2003 and 2008, saying he violated the constitutional rights of the juveniles, including the right to legal counsel and the right to intelligently enter a plea.

              “Ciavarella, 61, was tried and convicted of racketeering charges earlier this year.”

    2. You’re reminding me that nothing is so inane that it cannot have a revival every generation or two.

    3. yellowroselady:

      Can you please give examples of crimes that are currently punishable with imprisonment that you would see changed? Would you want no punishment for those offenses, or just no jail time?

      1. On a pleasant note, we went to a small town summer event and I heard someone play a song that seemed to represent a country music song played in the manner of Hendrix’ “Hey Joe”, as the basis. Fabulous innovation, and surely a joy when walking through the vintage car show.

        The show featured everything from rare modern machines to rat rods, the latter of which is one of those creations that appreciably eschews the notion of spending copious money in crafting magnificent cars. Where instead, the lowest possible amount of money spent results in the most remarkable bucket of bolts car.

      2. According to the NCMEC map there are over 904,000 men, women and children (as young as 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the “crimes” range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone 18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child, the old bait-n-switch internet stings (taking sometimes 12 months before a person steps over the line) guys on the autism spectrum or with intellectual disabilities and many others.

        If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 3 million wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being murdered, harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant….all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals indicate are needed for successful reintegration; a job, a place to live and a “positive” support system.

        1. Now you’re bitching about alternatives to incarceration.

    1. Define loser! You must be one of the ‘other’ crowd. If everyone was mandated by Congress or their state to post on their front yard their greatest sin how would your confession read?

      1. “Loser pays” is a principle followed in British law in regard to civil suits, which has it that the loser of a civil dispute is responsible for the legal costs of the winning party. The man filed an absurd suit. The defendants have to expend real resources, as do the courts, in processing this absurd suit.

    1. Assign it to the dingbat who presided over the Jodi Arias trial.

  5. While he was at it he should have said his religion forbids their followers to be incarcerated and demands his immediate release.

  6. Here’s his best argument: He didn’t want to EAT his lunchtime bologna sandwich, because of his religious fervor. However, he still wanted it, so that he could trade it for jailhouse sex or tattoos. I’m not sure that either are worth $250,0000, but hey, it’s negotiable….

  7. Too much boredom is like stupidity curable only with a coffin. The reasoning is they get three meals served between sundown and sunup. But the answer is they should be served only on Mecca Time and then ony if the required number of prayers are completed.

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