There has been a great deal of skepticism and speculation with regard to the circumstances surrounding the jail cell death of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
Several of Epstein’s attorneys are among those who have doubts about the assertion that their client committed suicide and have now announced plans to conduct an investigation of their own.
Epstein attorneys to investigate
Fox News reported that the New York City’s chief medical examiner issued a report on Friday concluding that Epstein died of suicide by hanging, using bedsheets in his jail cell.
There have been many pertinent questions raised about how a high-profile inmate such as Epstein was able to kill himself in the heavily-secured Metropolitan Correctional Center, and early indications are that a number of standard protocols were ignored or violated by staffers at the federal facility in Manhattan.
Given the many uncertainties that remain, it is perhaps understandable that Epstein’s attorneys — Martin Weinberg, Reid Weingarten, and Michael Miller — announced on Friday that they would launch their “own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and cause of Mr. Epstein’s death.”
“We are not satisfied”
“First, no one should die in jail,” the team of attorneys said in a statement. “And no one, not Mr. Epstein who was presumed innocent and had violated no prison disciplinary rule, and not anyone should be imprisoned under the harsh, even medieval conditions at the MCC where Mr. Epstein spent his final hours.”
“His safety was the responsibility of the MCC. It is indisputable that the authorities violated their own protocols,” the statement continued.
The attorneys suggested their independent investigation could include “if necessary legal action to view the pivotal videos — if they exist as they should — of the area proximate to Mr. Epstein’s cell during the time period leading to his death.”
“We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner. We will have a more complete response in the coming days,” the attorneys said.
So many questions, so few answers
One particularly troubling finding from the autopsy was the discovery of certain broken bones in Epstein’s neck, particularly the hyoid bone. Though it is possible for this bone to sustain a fracture in a suicide by hanging, reports indicate that such an injury is far more frequently seen in cases of homicide by strangulation.
There have also been disturbing claims that guards failed to check on Epstein at the required intervals, that logbooks were falsified to say otherwise, and that Epstein was inexplicably removed from suicide watch shortly after an alleged prior attempt to take his own life.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, additional evidence and facts Epstein’s attorneys can come up with to either confirm or disprove the conclusions of the medical examiner, and there is little doubt that many will be closely watching to see how it all turns out.