$2.25 Million for Family of Man Cooked to Death at Rikers Prison

Was left in scorching hot cell in mental health unit, prompting public outrage


The family of a homeless veteran who died this year in a searing hot cell at Rikers Island will receive $2.25 million from the City of New York in a settlement announced by the comptroller's office on Friday.

The settlement was finalized with unusual swiftness, a result both of the heightened interest in the case and the extraordinary pressure on the city to improve conditions at Rikers Island, where brutality and corruption have flourished unchecked for years.

The inmate, Jerome Murdough, died on Feb. 15, when the temperature in his cell in a mental health unit at Rikers reached over 100 degrees. The case has come to exemplify the many shortcomings of the city jails and the criminal justice system at large.