Sunday death at Parchman third apparent suicide of 2020

The Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman appears to have recorded its third suicide of 2020, all occurring over the last eight days.

According to Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton, she was called to Parchman on Sunday at 11:36 a.m., due to the death of an inmate in the Unit 29 B building.

“I arrived at Unit 29 at 12:36 pm and began my investigation,” Burton said in a press release on Sunday. “The offender, Joshua Norman, was found hanging in his cell during a security check at 11:12 am. Medical personnel were called and the offender was pronounced deceased at 11:42 am by the on call physician.”

Burton said the inmate was in a single man cell at the time fo the incident.

“These are the facts of the case as they were given to me and upon my observation,” Burton said. “The offender was removed from the unit by MDOC medical staff and was transported to the State Medical Examiner for autopsy in accordance with state law. In my professional opinion, after viewing the scene, no foul play was involved. Official cause of death and manner of death are pending autopsy results.”

Parchman saw a spike in inmate suicides in 2019 with five. The prison normally sees an average of two per year, but that number has already been surpassed in 2020.


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