Parent-Killing Jewish Inmate Wins Round in Kosher Meals Fight

Appeals Court Keeps Bruce Rich's Florida Suit Alive

By Seth Berkman

Published May 14, 2013.
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An Orthodox Jewish prison inmate from Florida who was convicted of murdering both his parents has won a key battle in his court fight to get kosher prison meals.

A federal appeals court reinstated Bruce Rich’s lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections, which denied him the special meals after eliminating them in a cost-cutting measure.

In 2010, Rich sued, claiming Florida violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 by forcing him to choose between religious practice and adequate nutrition. The state said it needed to control costs and maintain security.

But the appeals court ruled that, “the evidence submitted by the [DOC] on summary judgment in support of its position is insubstantial.”

The case will now head to federal district court for further proceedings. The Florida DOC is also involved in another lawsuit by the United States Department of Justice over ending its kosher meals even for religious Jewish inmates.

In 1995, Rich was found guilty of shooting and killing his parents, Irwn and Blanche Rich in their Florida home.

Authorities said he staged the crime to look like a murder-suicide.


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