An office guillotines office machine is not a weapon and can be used to kill an innocent person, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has ruled.
The DOJ issued a ruling Monday in a lawsuit against the companies that made the machines.
The machines, which are not legally permitted in federal prisons, were used by inmates to beat their cellmates with a chain until they lost consciousness.
The Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights, which is part of the DOJ, says the machines were a method of torture that was used for decades.
A federal court judge in the Southern District of California found in February that the use of the devices amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, and ordered the companies to pay $1 million in civil penalties.
The company that made them, MCA, was ordered to pay the DOJ $3.4 million.MCA appealed the ruling, arguing that the company was entitled to an exemption from the federal law because it was only one of the manufacturers of the machines, and the company had “limited involvement in designing and manufacturing the machines.”MCA, which manufactures the machines for the state of California, was also ordered to give the DOJ a list of all inmates who had been killed by them, and to give a list to all prisoners with information about the deaths, according to the DOJ.
The company was ordered not to discuss the deaths.
The Justice Department said it would file a motion to dismiss the case if MCA doesn’t comply with the order, but a judge rejected that motion on Tuesday.