Death and Laxness

If the jailers had paid attention, they might have noticed that Jose Rodriquez was dying

He promised to return, and called a few times, but then Avalos didn't hear anything about Little Joe again until word came that he had died.

The autopsy report lists Jose Rodriquez as a transient. His possessions--blue comb, black belt, cigarette lighter, yellow crucifix--fit into a small paper bag.

Rodriquez was no saint. And yet, Richard Vela is haunted by his death.
"This guy right here, he didn't need to die the way he did. If they would have took him to the infirmary and kept an eye on him . . . and watched him instead of just throwing him in the cell like that," he says.

"The conditions in here are way worse than the ones in prison. People in here are begging to go to prison, they want to go to prison--that's how bad it is here.

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