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Inmate’s death continues to haunt Miami prosecutor

Inmate’s death continues to haunt Miami prosecutor


Years after his brutal death, Darren Rainey remains on the minds of the people of Miami. That’s bad news for Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

In 2012, guards locked Rainey in the shower at the Dade Correctional Institute. He died after he was essentially boiled to death. Other inmates said he was screaming for mercy. But Rundle declined to bring charges against the corrections officers who locked Rainey in the shower, citing an autopsy reportthat found his death to be accidental.

But photos of Rainey’s body suggest the death was no one’s idea of an accident. According to the Huffington Post, which obtained the photos, “[t]he disturbing images show severe wounds on numerous sections of Rainey’s body. Entire swaths of skin ― and, in places, what appear to be multiple layers of skin ― are shown missing, bunched up at the edges of wounds or hanging loosely at the edges of wounds.”

Those graphic photos, which can be viewed here, suggest a man who was boiled to death, and not someone who died from a combination of heart disease, schizophrenia and from being confined in the shower, as the autopsy report suggests.

The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s autopsy report says Rainey did not suffer burns anywhere on his body. But other medical examiner’s have dissented from that finding. The Miami Herald asked two forensic pathologists, Drs. Michael Baden and John Marraccinito, to examine the case, and both said that it appeared he’d been severely burned. Attorneys for Rainey’s family are likely to make similar arguments in a civil suit they have filed.

The pictures are likely to be another blow for Rundle, a longtime prosecutor who recently suffered the indignity of having the Miami-Dade Democratic Party call for her resignation over her handling of the Rainey case.

Rundle has said she will not resign and indicated she may seek the Democratic nomination for governor or attorney general of Florida in 2018, but that could be difficult with her current standing in the Democratic Party. In late June, the Miami-Dade County Democratic Executive Committee (DEC) passed a formal resolution calling for Rundle to step down.

She has faced other controversy lately, as well — she was recently told by a federal appeals court that she was wrong in threatening to arrest a man who taped a conversation he had with the chief of police in Homestead.

The State Attorney has also generated attention by blocking critics on Twitter.