Mother of inmate sues Ore. over his death

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The mother of a developmentally disabled prison inmate who died in a segregation cell at the Oregon State Penitentiary after an injection of an "undetermined drug or toxin" has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state.

The Salem Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/rwpUHR ) 22-year-old Richard Gifford died in May 2010, 10 days before he was to be released, but the Oregon Department of Corrections did not disclose the death.

The lawsuit filed in federal court says Gifford's death was "a result of the deliberate indifference" of prison employees who failed to perform scheduled checks and ignored his warnings he was suicidal.

A spokeswoman for the department declined to comment on the suit and had no explanation for why the death wasn't made public until the newspaper reported on it Friday.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com