JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Mississippi Department of Corrections commissioner is asking the FBI and state Department of Public Safety to examine recent inmate deaths.
Commissioner Pelicia Hall said Friday that she is making the request in the interest of government transparency, though she believes most deaths were from natural causes, such as heart disease or cancer.
The announcement came as the department website posted notice that a 15th inmate had died in state custody in August.
Earl King Davis died Thursday at a Vicksburg hospital, where he was taken from South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville.
The 55-year-old was serving 20 years.
In 2008, he was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and in 2009, he was sentenced to 10 years for aggravated assault. Both cases were in Lauderdale County. An autopsy will be done.
Commissioner Hall released a statement Friday:
"I have been communicating with the FBI and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety regarding our deaths," she said. "While we believe that most of the reported deaths during the month of August are from illnesses or natural causes, such as cancer and heart disease, based on available information, we are seeking assistance from others outside the department in the interest of transparency. My administration is committed to ensuring that all individuals in the department's care receive appropriate medical care."