Covid lockdowns left CA inmates without showers for weeks; qualified immunity sees some progress and other set backs; a CO county will review convictions for equity — your weekly justice news
a new path: A man spent days covered in feces in his jail cell, the Supreme Court is allowing him to sue his jailers. It’s the first suit of its kind in years to be allowed to proceed which could open up more avenues to hold law enforcement responsible. The Marshall Project (May 3, 2021)
‘qualified immunity’: A 9th circuit court cleared three L.A. detectives of accountability for “psychologically abusive” techniques used on a 13-year-old without a lawyer or guardian present to coerce a murder confession. Witness LA (May 4, 2021)
not as good as it looks: Murder exonerations in Philly raise the questions if the misconduct created a pattern resulting in more false convictions than known. Philadelphia Inquirer (May 7, 2021)
For decades, Philadelphia homicide detectives were performing the extraordinary feat of closing more than 80% of cases. That figure has lately slumped to 42%, which is 20 percentage points below the national average.
making it right: A Colorado County is the first in its state to review past convictions for EQUITY not just innocence. Conviction Integrity Unit is the third established in Colorado following a national trend. Denver Post (May 9, 2021)
violence: An incarcerated man died of injuries last month from a fight that broke out between inmates in a Mississippi jail. Magnolia State Live (May 4, 2021)
not for me: Vaccination refusal holds steady in Vermont with almost 35% of incarcerated people continuing to refuse the covid vaccine. VT Digger (May 9, 2021)
listen: D.C. lawmakers are coming together to pass police reform by the year mark of George Floyd’s murder. The biggest sticking point has been qualified immunity which mostly protects police officers from accountability for use of force. NHPR (May 6, 2021)
progress in unlikely places: Virginia historically ended their death penalty this year and was the first former confederate state to do so. Read about how the change grew from a small group of activists. Washington Monthly (May 7, 2021)
unpreventable: Officials of a Virginia Jail are disputing the move to shut it down after three deaths. They say the deaths “are not always preventable for any jail.” AP (May 3, 2021)
for your safety or just torture: Covid lock downs in California jails left incarcerated people without showers for weeks, in cold cells and unable to talk with family. The Intercept (May 9, 2021)
COVID-19 resources: State policy changes. News. Bureau of Prisons updates. State court changes. Prison holistic self care and protection.
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