Eileen DiNino, a 55-year-old mother of seven from Reading, Pennsylvania, was found dead in her cell on Saturday. She was in the midst of a 48-hour jail sentence that was meant to erase her $2,000 debt, which had built up since 1999 by her sons' truancy from a vocational school, according to the Associated Press.
Police said the cause of death has yet to be determined, but the tragedy has already infuriated much of the community and the judge who sent DiNino to the Berks County jail.
“Did something happen? Was she scared to death?” said District Judge Dean Patton, who told reporters that he has been unable to sleep in the wake of her death yet had no other option under the law than to impose the sentence.