Derek Chauvin is sentenced to 22.5 years; bad medical staff often find new jobs in the criminal justice system; Cosby freed — your weekly justice news
reconsidered: Despite a district court upholding qualified immunity which often shields police from accountability, the Supreme Court revived a lawsuit against St. Louis police for use of excessive force against Nicholas Gilbert who died shackled in a cell. The court questioned if all relevant factors were considered. The Washington Post (June 28, 2021)
sentenced: George Floyd’s murderer, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22.5 years, the longest sentence an officer has received for police brutality. Floyd’s sister said the verdict indicated police brutality was finally being taken seriously but stressed that more progress is needed. CNN (June 25, 2021)
dangerously underqualified: Medical staff in jails and prisons are often underqualified and have been kicked out of other medical practices. This was partially why prisons were ill-equipped to deal with the pandemic and why many incarcerated people don’t receive adequate health care. The Marshall Project (July 1, 2021)
waning inequity: Representatives in Utah are currently working on reforms that aim to roll back cash-bail and decrease the inequity poor people face at the hands of the justice system. KUER (June 28, 2021)
same mistakes: Prisons across the U.S. adapted as the virus spread. But now as new infection rates decline, prisons have shown few signs of implementing long-lasting changes that could handle a new wave of cases. The Marshall Project (June 30, 2021)
incremental: After months of negotiation, Minnesota legislators announced plans to restrict no-knock warrants and require 911 operators to defer to mental health crisis teams. State House Speaker Melissa Hortman expressed her desire for further reform. MinnPost (June 27, 2021)
overturned: Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby’s aggravated indecent assault conviction last Wednesday. Cosby maintains his innocence while women’s rights advocates say the judicial system continues to fail sexual assault survivors. NBC (June 30, 2021)
confounding: Recent Nevada bills decriminalize traffic tickets and prevent license suspensions for minor traffic offenses. But the bulk of the law’s provisions won’t take effect for months or years. Despite the timeline, reform advocates are pleased with the bills’ contents. Nevada Current (June 28, 2021)
heartbreaking: After an early release due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 76-year-old Gwen Levi was sent back to prison for not answering a call from the BOP during a computer word processing class. Officials labeled the incident as an “escape” though Levi was at her approved address. Atlanta Black Star (June 28, 2021)
stunning negligence: Even 10 months into the pandemic, many prisons were still at 75% or more capacity despite efforts to release some of the most vulnerable populations. The Marshall Project (June 29, 2021)
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