Magazine article Corrections Forum

Ky. Weighed Politics, Medicine in Inmate's Surgery

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Ky. Weighed Politics, Medicine in Inmate's Surgery

Article excerpt

Associated Press

A condemned killer's fight to receive surgery for agonizing hip pain pushed Kentucky officials into an uncomfortable debate over security, politics and even the possibility of inviting scorn from Fox News pundits. Emails and memos show corrections officials struggling for a year to reconcile their duty to provide medical care with the political ramifications of spending tens of thousands of dollars for surgery on a man they plan to execute. A key problem would turn out to be security issues that led several hospitals to balk at treating inmate, Robert Foley, who still hasn't had the surgery.

"Hip replacement for an inmate who has exhausted all appeals and will soon be executed?" Kentucky State Penitentiary warden Phil Parker wrote in an email on Nov. 22, 2010. "I can see this making Fox News on a slow news day, maybe even on a busy news day. In fact, I bet [Fox News host] Bill O'Reilly would love to put this in his 'Pinheads' commentary. …

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