2 Mississippi inmates die in hospitals, department says

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Two Mississippi inmates have died at hospitals in recent days, the state Department of Corrections said Thursday.

Alex Jackie Pearson, 70, died Thursday at Greene County Hospital. A Hancock County jury convicted him Aug. 29, 2019, of seven counts of sexual battery and two counts of unlawful touching of a child. Pearson was serving a 45-year sentence at South Mississippi Correctional Institution.

Eric Alan Joosepson, 72, was pronounced dead Sunday at Greenwood Leflore County Hospital. He had been taken there from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Joosepson received a 15-year sentence on June 1, 2007, after he pleaded guilty to two counts of fondling in Lowndes County. The department said it delayed releasing information about his death so his family could be notified.

Autopsies are set for Pearson and Joosepson. At least 10 Mississippi inmates have died this year.

At least 106 inmates died from late 2019 until the end of 2020. Several inmates died during outbursts of violence in late December 2019 and early January 2020. The U.S. Justice Department announced in February that it is investigating the state’s prison system.

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