Five inmates have blamed alcohol and its makers for their crimes. The five men, all in Idaho's Kuna facility have filed lawsuits against various beer and wine makers, charging that the companies knew they were producing addictive beverages that led them to commit crimes.
"I honestly do not think that anyone who is young and who is planning a future, if they knew that alcohol was addictive and habit-forming, would ever drink alcohol beverages. Not one day goes by that I do not crave alcohol. I dream about drinking alcohol; I sit around and crave alcohol," inmate Jeremy Brown wrote in his suit.
He is currently serving a 20-to-30 year sentence for seriously injuring a man during a shooting. Brown maintained that he was drunk at the time of the shooting and had he not been drinking, "the shooting would [have] never happened."
Brown is not the only inmate to make such a claim; his fellow inmates have written their own lawsuits. The men do not have lawyers and are working on their own to sue eight companies, including Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing, and Coors. Each man wrote how alcohol had influenced his life and led to a criminal act.
Keith Allen Brown is one of the leaders of the group and is serving a 15-year sentence for killing a man. He noted that he had spent at least 30 years of his life behind bars because of his alcohol addiction.
"I have spent a great deal of that time in prison because of situations that have arose because of people being drunk, or because of situations in which alcohol played a major role. At no time in my life, prior to me becoming an alcoholic, was I ever informed that alcohol was habit forming and addictive," he wrote in the lawsuit.
The inmates are seeking to change the way alcohol is marketed and want warning labels to be placed on all alcoholic products, in addition to $700 million in compensatory damages and $300,000 million on punitive damages, the Bonner County Daily Bee reported.
"When our products become associated with a problem, it is damaging to all of us as parents and members of our communities, and to us as a company; it's the last thing we want for our consumers or our products," Anheuser-Busch told the New York Times when it was being sued last year.
So far, the men have not heard back from any of the beverage companies.