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New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot

New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot

Is there a list of the inmates who died during the riot? If so, where can I f...
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New Mexico State Penitentiary Riot discussion
Is there a list of the inmates who died during the riot? If so, where can I find it?
replied to: texsgirl
Get a copy of "The Devils Butcher Shop: The New Mexico Prison Uprising" and read it. It contains more than enough information to digest on the specifics and details. It contains disturbingly detailed and graphic depiction of the torture of so called "snitches" in block C, and the extent the inmates went to to determine what they had reported to prison guards. Rooms containing files on prisoner snitches were breached and scrutinized, and a 'death' list of men targeted for execution composed .

Blow torches for recent remodeling on site, were utilized to cut through panels containing switches to individual cell doors, as men were drug to their grizzly deaths. Ax marks, later filled in with cement are still visible where an inmate was decapitated and his head placed on a pole, then paraded down the cell block. One inmate was literally cut into pieces alive by a blow torch. As he lay on the floor, his screams were only muted when the torch cut his head into two separate parts. The charred floor where this incident occurred is still visible.

This book is an excellent description of the worst prison riot in U.S. penal history. Morris provides insightful and needed history leading up to the 1980 riot (something other reviewers oddly thought wasn't necessary). Contrary to the other reviewer's opinion, Morris' book doesn't read like a bunch of newspaper clippings, but like a montage of voices that bring to light the complexity of the riot and new mexico politics. This book is in no way misdirected like another reviewer thinks, but instead it provides an accurate picture of the nepotism and corruption pervasive not only in the New Mexico penal system but throughout the state (general political corruption and neglect DID lead to the riot). As for the writing, it is clear, well-researched, and definitely not boring. If you're only interested in the bloody details of the riot (as the reviewer from Telford, Penn. seems to be), then only read chapter 3: Carnage. But if you want a clear picture of the riot itself and the specific circumstances that made the riot possible (both within the prison and within New Mexico politics at large), then the Devil's Butcher Shop is the only choice.