Criminal Justice

Former prosecutor loses suit seeking damages for pepper spraying in prison


A former prosecutor who served five years in prison has lost his lawsuit claiming two corrections officers used excessive force when he refused an order to roll a log around a tree.

Jurors found for the two prison guards in the suit by former Delaware deputy attorney general Kenneth Abraham, now 67, the News Journal reports. “You got away with it again,” Abraham called out to the prison guards as they left the courtroom.

Abraham, who was imprisoned on a drug charge, told jurors the log roll was intended to be punishment for talking in the chow hall. Abraham says he wasn’t talking and he refused to comply with the order. In response, Abraham alleges, correctional officers pepper sprayed him, knocked him to the ground and kicked him.

The lawyer representing the state, Catherine Damavandi, said in her closing argument that Abraham’s version of events was “fiction.” She said the guards did use pepper spray but Abraham made up the events that followed. She also said Abraham taunted the guards, telling one of them, “Make my day.”

Abraham spoke of his disappointment after the verdict. “I’m disappointed but not entirely surprised given the massive indifference toward prisoners, and that massive indifference is a massive mistake,” he said.

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