Saturday, July 20, 2013

Death Row Inmate Sues Idaho, Wants Weekend Lunch

Posted By on Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

When Boise Weekly visited the Idaho State Correctional Institution's kitchens in March, we discovered some things that weren't so surprising (inmates' favorite meal is hamburgers) and some things that were surprising (the average cost of a meal is 81 cents, one of the lowest in the nation).

"In addition to our main line, we offer a non-pork, a vegan, a lacto-ovo [vegetarian but including dairy and eggs] or what we call a healthy choice diet, which is low in sodium, sugar and cholesterol," Katie Hall, dietary services manager for the Idaho Department of Correction, told BW. "When they come into the dining hall, they go to a special window to pick up their meal."

But one inmate, currently on death row, is suing prison officials because Idaho doesn't serve lunch to inmates on weekends. State officials told BW in March that while they serve three meals a day on weekdays, on weekends, they serve a larger breakfast and a piece of fruit at midday in addition to dinner.

But Timothy Dunlap, who has been sentenced to death in Idaho and Ohio for two murders—and is currently on Idaho's death row—says he's losing weight because he's not getting a weekend lunch. The Idaho State Journal reports that Dunlap claims in his lawsuit, filed last week in Boise's U.S. District Court, that he had a heart attack because of the change to weekend meals.

"I do know that it is cruel and unusual for the kitchen not serving lunch on the weekends," said Dunlap in his suit. He lost a previous suit against the state over the weekend menu. The state has yet to file a response to the second suit.

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