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Conspiracy Not Required: Apparent Suicides Like Epstein’s Lead US Prison Deaths

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The apparent suicide of accused sex trafficker and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has raised multiple conspiracy theories. However, regardless of whether any of the theories hold weight, Epstein’s death sheds light on irregularities in the US’ mass incarceration system, Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com, told Sputnik’s Loud & Clear.

Gosztola published a piece on Tuesday titled “Jeffrey Epstein’s Uniquely American Death in Jail,” in which he describes how America’s criminal justice system “operates with one system for the wealthy and powerful and one for the underclasses, especially people of color.” 


“None of the above proves a conspiracy. However, it should give space to citizens to express their reservations about what happened until authorities involved in an investigation can transparently account for Epstein’s death,” Gosztola writes, also pointing out that the 66-year-old American financier’s death “sounds like something that would happen in a nation that incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.”

Gosztola told Loud & Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker Tuesday that in his article he “deliberately took a nuanced position, where I want to allow people to grapple with the fact that we have a system in which there is total impunity for crimes that are committed by rich, wealthy and powerful elites and that they manage to escape justice or deny justice to the people who charged them.”

“So far, we really do not have evidence that, to my mind, suggests a vast conspiracy in the sense of someone put out a hit and had Epstein murdered, etc. But, at the moment, what we have is a lot of evidence that looks at how our mass incarceration system functions … I’m not saying there couldn’t be a conspiracy; I think there could be a conspiracy, but what I'm saying is the news reporting points to several irregularities [in the prison system] that are definitely important for us to discuss, as to why Epstein is no longer alive,” Gosztola explained.

On Saturday morning, Epstein was found dead in his cell at New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC), having apparently hung himself with a bed sheet. He was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking of minors after his bail appeal was declined. In mid-July, Epstein was put on suicide watch after an unsuccessful attempt, but was reportedly taken off a suicide watch one week later.

Numerous conspiracy theories, from Epstein receiving assistance in killing himself to being outright murdered, have circulated following the financier’s apparent suicide, with some claiming that his death may have been organized by his wealthy and powerful friends or even by Russia. Following Epstein’s death, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted, “A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men’s lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably … Russian,” while American actor Alec Baldwin tweeted one day later, “The Russians killed Epstein. They’re in charge of everything now.”

“Simultaneously while media organizations are warning against a public that is seeking out all manner of conspiracy theories, including maybe [that] there was a body double, you have figures who are well known liberal icons saying and suggesting that Russia, perhaps, put out a hit and killed Epstein within the jail. It’s not Russian. It’s uniquely American,” Gosztola told Sputnik.

“That’s the core of the piece that I wrote … We have a ton of documentation over the past five years that this mass incarceration system has extraorindarily high rates of suicide within these facilities, and that can be attributed to many things, and largely it’s that culture of dehumanization that goes on in prison. Although this is speculation, those guards had their own political ideologies that they were willing to act out upon ... Probably during breaks, they had their own conspiracy theories about what Epstein had his hands in and was tied to and linked to as far as elites go, whether we are talking about [US President] Donald Trump or [former US President] Bill Clinton. That maybe played some role in [the guards’] complete indifference to his well being,” Gosztola noted. 

A 2015 report by the US Justice Department reveals that suicide has been the leading cause of death in the US prison system since 2000.

According to reports, one of the guards in the MCC Special Housing unit was working a fifth consecutive day of overtime, and another was also working overtime. One of the people responsible for watching over Epstein was not a correctional officer, according to a person familiar with the incident who spoke to AP this week. On Monday, the Justice Department announced that two corrections officers from MCC Special Housing Unit have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations by the FBI and the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General into his death.

“I think that shows the dysfunction of what is going on in the facility … I quote in my story two figures who have become full time pundits for the corporate media: Elie Honig, who worked for the Southern District of New York, as well as Mimi Rocah, who was also a prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, and they both have no recollection of any time that people they were handling cases for were able to commit suicide in this facility,” Gosztola told Sputnik.

“It’s impossible for me not to compare what happened to [American activist and whisleblower] Chelsea Manning to Epstein, just simply because she was not suicidal, but was being forced into … and made to [go on] suicide prevention [even though she made] claims very clearly to the guards that she did not need to be on suicide watch. Meanwhile, we have Epstein, who presumably through his attorney was able to negotiate with the mangement of the facility to get him taken off prematurely from suicide watch so that he could have some of his freedom and privacy,” Gosztola noted.

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