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2 Mississippi inmates die at Jackson hospital days apart

(AP) — Two prisoners died in Mississippi over the weekend, bringing the number of inmate deaths in the state’s troubled prisons to 46 since late December.
Jessie Minnifield, 75, died Friday night after receiving specialty care at Merit Health Center in Jackson, news outlets reported. Minnifield was convicted of murder/homicide in 1979 and aggravated assault while out on parole in 2011, according to the reports, which cited a Mississippi Department of Corrections news release.
Deborah Patton, 41, died Sunday morning at the same medical center in Jackson, news outlets reported. MDOC said she had been hospitalized for several days. Patton was serving a 30-year sentence for DUI-related crimes, including a crash that killed a 5-year-old, the Clarion Ledger reported.
The official causes of their deaths were pending until autopsies could be performed.
The state prison system came under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department after several inmates were killed or injured during outbursts of violence in late December and early January.