Former Oklahoma inmate who led prisons lawsuit dies at 80
The Associated Press - December 30, 2017 9:31 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Bobby Battle, a former Oklahoma inmate whose decades-long lawsuit against the Department of Corrections sparked major reforms in the state’s prison system, has died at the age of 80.
Battle’s daughter, Jasmine Battle, said her father died Monday at a hospital in Midwest City after suffering from pneumonia in recent weeks.
Battle filed the lawsuit in 1972 while an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester over conditions at the prison. Before it went to trial, one of the worst prison riots in U.S. history broke out at the penitentiary that left three inmates dead and more than 20 injured.
The lawsuit led to the racial desegregation of prisons in Oklahoma, as well as changes in the use of confinement, punishment and medical care of inmates, among other things.