Hunger-striking prisoner fights force-feedings
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Attorneys for a British prisoner who lost more than 100 pounds during a hunger strike have asked Connecticut's Supreme Court to prevent prison officials from force-feeding him.
The prisoner, William Coleman, stopped eating in September 2007 over claims he was convicted on a fabricated rape charge. Authorities began feeding him by a tube inserted through his nose a year later when he stopped accepting fluids.
Coleman has since begun voluntarily accepting liquid nutrition but he argues that the force-feedings violate his right to free speech.
His lawyers argued before the seven-judge panel on Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to rule last year that the feedings by the state Department of Correction can be permitted.
Assistant Attorney General Lynn Wittenbrink says prison officials are obliged to protect inmates' lives.