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Rhode Island Supreme Court: Inmate serving life can't sue because he's 'dead'

Posted at 1:09 PM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 13:09:11-04

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's Supreme Court has ruled that a man serving life in prison can't sue the state for an attack by a fellow inmate because, under state law, he's considered dead.

The Providence Journal reports that the court dismissed the negligence lawsuit brought against the Department of Corrections by 33-year-old Dana Gallop, who's serving two life sentences plus 45 years for fatally shooting a rival gang member outside a Providence nightclub in 2008.

The court cited a state law that reads in part: "Every person imprisoned in the adult correctional institutions for life shall ... be deemed to be dead in all respects, as if his or her natural death had taken place at the time of conviction."

Gallop's attorney called the ruling disappointing and said the state's civil death law is "moronic."