The Concerned Muslims of Annapolis (CMA) knew Jonathan Magbie as a young
African American who had been a practicing Muslim for 18 months before his
death in September while in the custody of the D.C. Department of
Corrections [Metro, Oct. 1]. Mr. Magbie, a quadriplegic who depended on a
ventilator to breathe, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for a crime he
committed before his conversion to Islam.
Mr. Magbie told us that he became a Muslim to escape the criminal elements
of his prior lifestyle. He anticipated punishment for his first-time
offense, but should the sentence have cost him his life?
This question prompted the CMA to write to Chief Judge Rufus King of the
D.C. Superior Court, to Odie Washington, director of the Corrections
Department, and to Greater Southeast Community Hospital. The CMA has
requested that all three entities thoroughly investigate the circumstances
of Mr. Magbie's death.
We remember him as a delightful young believer who reminded us that faith
exceeds any physical limitation. We pray that the agencies involved in his
death will report their findings publicly as well as keeping his family
informed. More important, we pray that provisions will be enacted to
prevent more deaths from what appears to have been medical negligence.
SHUAIB B. NEEL is the Concerned Muslims of Annapolis