Monday, October 11, 2004


bush's war on drugs....

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 1, 2004; Page B01

Jonathan Magbie, a 27-year-old Mitchellville man, was sent to jail in the District last week for 10 days for marijuana possession.

Details about Magbie's death were first reported by WJLA-TV (Channel 7). Magbie was struck by a drunk driver when he was 4 years old; he was paralyzed from the neck down, and his growth was stunted. Barely five feet tall and 120 pounds, he moved around on a motorized wheelchair that he operated with his chin.

For most everything else, from scratching an itch on his head to flushing his lungs of accumulated fluid, he had to rely on others. Along with his family, he had nursing care 20 hours a day. "I'm not saying that he shouldn't have been punished, because he did smoke the marijuana," his mother, Mary Scott, said yesterday, a day after burying her son. "I just don't think it should have cost him his life."

Apparently resigned to having him stay on at the jail annex, the medical staff decided after a couple of days of back-and-forth with Magbie's mother and attorney to allow Magbie's mother to bring his ventilator. Told to bring the device down Friday morning, she did, showing up about 10 a.m. A half-hour earlier, she would later learn, her son had been taken by ambulance back to Greater Southeast.

That night, she received a call from a warden telling her that her son was dead.
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