SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Attorneys for the state and those representing prison inmates are presenting a federal judge with starkly different views of prison guards' use of pepper spray against the mentally ill.
At issue in the trial that ended Thursday is whether guards' heavy use of pepper spray against some mentally ill inmates violates prisoners' civil rights.
Jeffrey Bornstein, an attorney representing inmates, said in closing arguments that guards should treat the inmates as mentally ill people who need help.
Patrick McKinney is a supervising deputy attorney general who represents the state in the case. He says there is no evidence of a system-wide problem.
The trial in federal court in Sacramento featured the airing of a half-dozen videos that showed pepper spray used multiple times on screaming inmates who refused to leave their cells.