For much of the last five years, Wisconsin prison inmate Warren Lilly has been refusing to eat and the state Department of Corrections has been feeding him forcibly. Lilly says his intent is not to die but to protest; the DOC says it is doing what it needs to to protect Lilly's health.
Last month, Dodge County Judge Andrew Bissonnette sided with Lilly, revoking his earlier authorization for the force feeding. As Isthmus reports, the judge in his decision even suggests that the DOC's treatment of Lilly (who has been voluntarily eating since early March) was akin to torture.
Key to the judge's decision was his review of two videos of forced feeding sessions conducted on Lilly in late February of this year. The judge reviewed and transcribed the sessions, an evening feeding on February 27, 2009 and a morning feeding on February 28. These videos, totaling about four and a half hours in length, became part of the circuit court case file and were obtained by Isthmus.
The excerpts here present brief snippets from these videotapes.
The first, from February 27, records Lilly's comments at the start of the session.
The second records a conversation between him and an inmate who is apparently within earshot.
The third, from the breakfast feeding of February 28, shows the start of the session as the feeding tube is inserted.
The fourth video, also from Feb. 28, includes Lilly singing the Oscar Mayer Wiener song.
The fifth, with Lilly's feeding tube threaded through his nose, has him referring to the force-feeding as torture.
Bill Lueders and Logan Jaffee contributed to this report.