Man jailed for years without conviction commits suicide

Man jailed for years without conviction commits suicide
© ABC 7

Kalief Browder — a 22-year old Bronx native whose three-year stay in jail without being convicted of a crime attracted the eye of top politicians and celebrities — took his own life this weekend.

The New Yorker, which had reported Browder’s story, said he had committed suicide on Saturday, after an extended battle with depression.

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The news caught the eye of Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (R-Ky.), who had mentioned Browder’s tale during speeches about the need to reform the criminal justice system.

“Kelley and I extend our most heartfelt sorrow and deepest condolences to the family of Kalief Browder,” Paul wrote on his Facebook and Twitter pages. “May his soul rest in peace.” 

As a teenager, Browder was arrested for stealing a backpack and then held at the infamous Rikers Island for more than 1,000 days, before his case was ultimately dismissed.

The story helped prompt reforms at New York City’s courts and was held up as proof of the need to further overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system.

On Saturday — the same day Browder killed himself — Paul implored a crowd in Concord, N.H., to “think about Kalief Browder and think about how his friends must feel about American justice, how his parents must feel and about how his community feels.”

"If we become the party that cares about the Sixth Amendment as much as we do the Second Amendment, we’re going to dominate,” said Paul, who is running for president, according to The Washington Post. 

Browder left the jail in 2013 but appeared deeply troubled.

He tried to kill himself both inside and outside Rikers, according to The New Yorker, and had grown deeply paranoid.

“When you go over the three years that he spent [in jail] and all the horrific details he endured, it’s unbelievable that this could happen to a teen-ager in New York City,” Browder’s layer, Paul Prestia, told The New Yorker. “He didn’t get tortured in some prison camp in another country. It was right here!”