A British jury recently completed an inquest on the death of animal rights activists Barry Horne who died while on a hunger strike in prison. Horne had een sentenced to 18 years in jail after being convicted of numerous acts of arson in a two-year firebombing campaign he carried out in the United Kingdom.
The inquest’s purpose was to ensure that Horne was of sound mind and body and free from coercion when he made the decision to die.
The jury heard evidence that Horne was not mentally ill when he commenced his final hunger strike and that he had left written instructions that he was not to be fed. The report of a psychiatrist who interviewed Horne said that the animal rights extremist thought he “would win by dying,” apparently believing that his death would force the British government to ban medical research with animals.
Open verdict on hunger strike. ICCoventry.Co.Uk, March 11, 2003.
Hunger striker’s inquest. Sky News, March 11, 2003.