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Mentally ill California prison inmate dies after being pepper sprayed

As California prison officials began looking into the September death of a breathing-impaired inmate who had been pepper-sprayed by a guard, they found themselves facing unusual interference and oversight from above, according to documents from an internal corrections investigation obtained by The Sacramento Bee.

A corrections psychologist whose duties included a review of the Sept. 7 death of 35-year-old Joseph Duran complained she was told to delete information she had obtained about the death and, in one instance, to remove a reference to the use of pepper spray, according to transcripts of interviews conducted in recent weeks by internal affairs investigators with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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