The complaint alleges, in graphic detail, how Vega lost his mind at Supermax. How he began to mutilate his own body. How he came to believe that the guards were poisoning his food and "violating his bodily integrity." When he complained, as he often did, in writing, prison staff typically told him that the results of his complaints were "not disclosable to" him. Now that he is dead, now that he can no longer testify about what was done to him, here is what the feds say to try to rid themselves of the responsibility of an accounting:
Plaintiff makes no allegation that inmate Vega was in fact suffering from a serious mental illness requiring treatment at the time of his death (or at any time when Mr. Davis was the Warden at the ADX)... There are similarly no facts showing that any treatment was prescribed (or even indicated) for inmate Vega's mental condition. Further, there are no facts alleged showing that, objectively, inmate Vega was at an increased risk of suicide
His prior (unidentified) suicide attempt in 2005 and self-mutilation in 2010 are insufficient to show, objectively, that inmate Vega was diagnosed by a physician with a serious mental illness mandating treatment or was suffering from a condition that was so obvious that even a lay person would easily recommend the necessity for a doctor's attention.
You follow that twisted logic? The prison staff's repeated failure or refusal to treat Vega for his obvious mental illness now is being used as evidence by the government that Vega didn't need to be treated for his obvious mental illness. And since a "lay person"—like a juror, for example— wouldn't have viewed Vega's conduct before his suicide as "mandating treatment" lay people—like jurors—should not be allowed to review the evidence in this case to decide for themselves whether Supermax officials failed to meet their legal obligations to this prisoner.
Davis now is gone from Supermax. The warden whose lawyers now say he was completely detached from what was happening inside his own prison, whose advocates now claim in court that he had no knowledge of the repeated complaints of a self-mutilating prisoner, was promoted earlier this year, in January, just before the Vega complaint was filed. Davis now serves the Bureau of Prisons as an Assistant Director. Recognition, perhaps, for the "National Warden's Award for Prison Management" Davis won in 2011, the year after one of his prisoners committed suicide.
In addition to the Vega lawsuit, Davis leaves other unfinished business behind. Earlier this year, another civil rights lawsuit was filed, an even larger one, one that alleges systematic abuse and neglect of mentally ill prisoners at ADX-Florence. Soon, federal lawyers will file their motion to dismiss that case, too, no doubt arguing that the plaintiffs, who are prisoners at the facility, can't prove their case and shouldn't be allowed to try. The aim of these motions are more than just depriving the nation of the truth of the matter. The aim is to protect public servants from ever having to answer publicly for their work.