- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 9, 2020

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Autopsies have been set for two Mississippi prison inmates who died in custody in the last week, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Albert Smith, 69, an inmate at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County was pronounced dead at a hospital in Jackson early Tuesday morning, the department said in a statement.

He had been hospitalized for more than a month and his death was believed to be from natural causes, officials said. An autopsy was set to determine the official cause and the manner of death.

Charles E. Wilson, 64, also a Central Mississippi Correctional Facility inmate, was pronounced dead at the prison Sunday night. Officials did not give a suspected cause of death. An autopsy was set to determine the official cause and manner.

Smith was convicted of a 1999 killing, the Corrections Department said. Wilson was serving a life sentence, plus 40 years, for a 1982 kidnapping and rape.

At least 75 inmates have died in Mississippi prisons since late December. Several inmates died during outbursts of violence in late December and early January. The U.S. Justice Department announced in February that it is investigating the state’s prison system.

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