2020-08-09@13:43:48 GMT
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    (CNN) — When James Giannetta first called his brother Russ in late June to tell him that the coronavirus was beginning to spread in his Texas federal prison, Russ could hear the fear in his voice. “This place is exploding,” James warned. Russ soon got another call: James, a 65-year-old inmate with diabetes and HIV, had tested positive for the virus himself. Within days, he was rushed to a hospital as his oxygen levels plummeted. A few weeks later, after his condition deteriorated and he was placed on a ventilator, he was dead. As coronavirus has spread rapidly through prisons and jails around the country in recent months, the Texas lockup where Giannetta spent his last days has emerged as...
    PHOTO VIA FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONSThe number of Florida prison inmates who have died from COVID-19 increased to 59 on Wednesday, while corrections officials said they have taken additional steps to deal with outbreaks at two facilities. The number of inmates who have died was up from 54 in a Tuesday count. Meanwhile, the number of inmates who have tested positive statewide increased to 9,460 on Wednesday, up from 9,180 a day earlier, according to the Florida Department of Correction. The number of infected corrections workers increased to 1,866 on Wednesday, up from 1,810 on Tuesday. The department said Wednesday it has taken additional steps to try to stem the spread of the disease at Santa...
    (CNN)A divided Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted a lower court order that required increased Covid-related safety measures in an Orange County, California, jail while the appeals process plays out. The vote was 5-4 and the four liberals on the court dissented. The order is a victory for Orange County, whose lawyers argued that while there is "no doubt" that there are "significant and dangerous outbreaks" in some prisons and jails across the country, their jail is "not one of them." They argued that the jail had already moved to release 53% of inmates to increase social distancing, and that the lower court's order would have harmed the sheriff's office from an "effective and fluid" response."The order places staff and inmates...
    By LISA RATHKE, Associated Press While Vermont has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases in the country and has been largely able to control outbreaks in its own prisons, 85 Vermont inmates held at a Mississippi prison have tested positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus in early results, a finding that inmate advocates say was predictable and could have been prevented. Vermont houses 219 inmates at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi, because of a lack of capacity in its own prisons. After six inmates returning to Vermont from Mississippi tested positive recently, the Vermont Corrections Department on July 30 ordered that the remaining Vermont inmates held there be tested. Teams from the department and CoreCivic,...
    (CNN)At least 15 people incarcerated at California's oldest prison have died since June from apparent Covid-19-related complications amid a growing coronavirus outbreak at the facility, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.John Beames, 67, is the latest inmate to die at San Quentin State Prison. He was pronounced dead at a hospital on Tuesday from what appeared to be complications related to Covid-19, the CDCR said in a news release. A coroner will determine the exact cause of death. Beames is one of seven death row inmates who have died from apparent Covid-19 complications, the CDCR said. He had been on death row since November 1995, after being convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a 15-month-old...
    PHOTO VIA ADOBE IMAGESThe number of Florida corrections workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 surpassed 1,000 on Friday, according to the state Department of Corrections.  As the highly contagious virus continues to spread across Florida’s prison system, 3,520 inmates also have been diagnosed with the disease. An additional two prisoners have died, bringing the total number of inmate deaths to 32. The Department of Corrections has been grappling with a soaring number of infections among its workforce. Over the past week, an additional 255 corrections workers --- which include probation officers, corrections officers, nurses, food service workers and administrative personnel --- have tested positive for the disease.  As of mid-day Friday, 1,009 workers had tested positive. ...
    David Reed, 60, the California death row inmate at San Quentin State Prison has died from apparent complications of the coronavirus More than one third of inmates at a Californian prison have been infected with coronavirus and six have died from the virus, including one death row prisoner. Over 1,300 prisoners have now been infected at San Quentin state in northern California, the home of California's death row for male inmates, making the outbreak the third largest in the United States.  The prison, which holds 4,051 inmates, had all but escaped the virus until late May when 120 'uninfected' prisoners - who were 65 and over or had existing medical conditions - were moved from a nearby facility in...
    SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday getting a handle on the out-of-control COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin state prison remains a ‘top priority for our admininstration’ and several remedies were being considered including the early parole of qualified inmates. As of Monday, six San Quentin inmates have died during the COVID-19 outbreak. There were another 1,387 inmates listed as having an active COVID-19 infections and 13 infected inmates have been release. Several dozen inmates have been transferred out of the prison for hospital treatment in nearby communities. Since Friday, three death row inmates — Dewayne Carey, Scott Erskine and Manuel Alvaarez — have died of the virus and three inmates from the general population. “We’ve been...
    SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday getting a handle on the out-of-control COVID-19 outbreak at San Quentin state prison remains a ‘top priority for our admininstration’ and several remedies were being considered including the early parole of qualified inmates. As of Monday, six San Quentin inmates have died during the COVID-19 outbreak. There were another 1,387 inmates listed as having an active COVID-19 infections and 13 infected inmates have been release. Several dozen inmates have been transferred out of the prison for hospital treatment in nearby communities. Since Friday, three death row inmates — Dewayne Carey, Scott Erskine and Manuel Alvaarez — have died of the virus and three inmates from the general population. “We’ve been...
    Nicole Karlis July 6, 2020 9:04PM (UTC) A coronavirus outbreak is spreading through California's San Quentin State Prison, confirming many epidemiologists' worst fears over what might happen if the virus took hold in a tightly confined space like a prison.  Over the last two weeks, there have been 919 new COVID-19 cases in the prison just north of San Francisco, for a total of 1,388 inmates infected with the coronavirus. That accounts for more than one-third of the prison's population, according to data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Back at the end of May, no inmates in San Quentin were known to have had the virus. Across the state of California, there are over 5,000 incarcerated persons with active cases of...
    A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report suggests that one coronavirus test may not be enough to be sure that someone has not been infected after exposure.  The report, published Monday, found that more than 70 percent of inmates at a Louisiana prison who were exposed to someone infected with coronavirus ultimately came down with COVID-19.  But about 25 percent of them tested negative once, or even twice, between exposure and getting a positive result.  As the threat of asymptomatic spread becomes clearer and outbreaks rage in detention facilities the US, the CDC underscores the need to perform 'serial' diagnostic tests, especially on those who have been exposed to someone with coronavirus and those living in densely-packed...
    More than 1,000 inmates at California's San Quentin Prison have tested positive for coronavirus, meaning more than a third of the entire facility's population now have the virus. The number jumped from 823 on Sunday to 1,015 on Monday, a 22 percent increase. There have been 973 new cases in the prison in the last fourteen days.  The prison now has by far the highest number of cases out of all of California's correctional facilities.  Last week, 30 of the cases were prison staff and five infected inmates were released.  More than 1,000 inmates at California's San Quentin Prison have tested positive for coronavirus, meaning more than a third of the entire facility's population now have the virus This...
    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison has only gotten worse, Gov. Gavin Newsom revealed in a press conference Monday.As of Monday morning, 1,011 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Marin County prison, he said. That's a huge jump from the numbers reported by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Saturday: 615 inmates and 89 staff members.Of the 113,000 inmates in all of California's state prisons, 2,600 have tested positive.INTERACTIVE: Here's the reopening status of every Bay Area countyCalifornia cleared about 3,500 people for early release at the early stages of the pandemic and Newsom said the state is working to release another 3,500. Those that have been identified are medically vulnerable...
    (CNN)The Supreme Court turned away a major challenge to the federal government's lethal injection protocol on Monday, a win for the Trump administration that has set execution dates to begin mid-July after a nearly two-decade lapse.In 2019 Attorney General William Barr's moved to reinstate the federal death penalty, underscoring the stark law-and-order philosophy of the Trump administration. At the time, he directed the head of the Bureau of Prisons to execute five inmates he said represented the "worst criminals."The Bureau of Prisons adopted a new lethal injection protocol consisting of a single drug, pentobarbital.The federal inmates involved in the appeal were Daniel Lewis Lee, who killed a family of three, including an 8-year-old girl; Wesley Ira Purkey, who raped and...
    SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) — A COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff at San Quentin State Prison topped 700 confirmed cases Saturday with plans underway to transfer an undisclosed number of inmates to a state facility in Kern County. According to state prison COVID-19 tracking, 610 inmates were actively infected with the virus at San Quentin. Three other inmates stricken by the disease had been released from state custody and at least 25 were being treated at Bay Area hospitals under heavy security. The dashboard showed that 568 inmates have been infected within the last 14 days and no inmate has completely recovered from the virus. Among prison employees, 89 have tested positive with 6 of those being able...
    By GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Five years after Nebraska lawmakers approved a sweeping plan to reduce prison crowding, state officials are only marginally closer to fixing the problem despite millions of dollars in additional funding. Nebraska is virtually certain to fall into an “overcrowding emergency" on Wednesday, having missed a state-imposed deadline to reduce its inmate population below 140% of what its facilities were designed to hold. The emergency designation will force Nebraska officials to consider paroling all inmates who are eligible. It isn't expected to change much, however, because state prison and parole officials said they've already taken steps to speed up the process and they don't plan to deviate much from what they've already...
    Things never to do at the doctors office 1.48M filed jobless claims last week, worse than predictions US inmates got virus relief checks, and IRS wants them back BOISE, Idaho — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent. The legislation authorizing the payments during the pandemic doesn’t specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS has refused to say exactly what legal authority it has to retrieve the money. On its website, it points to the unrelated Social Security Act, which bars...
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is asking state officials to claw back hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus stimulus payments from inmates after the federal tax agency says the payments were sent in error. The legislation authorizing the stimulus checks during the coronavirus pandemic does not specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS is not saying what legal basis it has to reclaim the money. The IRS website points to the Social Security Act, which bars inmates from receiving some types of pension benefit payments. “I can’t give you the legal basis. All I can tell you is this is the language the Treasury and ourselves have been using,” IRS spokesman Eric Smith said. “It’s just the...
    SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) – Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that the state hopes to expedite the release of several thousand low-risk inmates at state prisons such as San Quentin that have seen outbreaks of the COVID-19 coronavirus in their populations. State courts are currently reviewing a cohort of about 3,500 inmates in the state prison system who have been targeted as candidates for early release during the coronavirus pandemic. Newsom said he hopes to start seeing prisoners released before July 1 in an effort to “decompress” a prison system that has confirmed 3,864 cases to date, according to data from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. At least 456 inmates in San Quentin have tested positive for the...
    Tax attorney Kelly Erb, who's written about the issue on her website, says there's no legal basis for asking for the checks back. "I think it's really disingenuous of the IRS," Erb said Tuesday. "It's not a rule just because the IRS puts it on the website. In fact, the IRS actually says that stuff on its website isn't legal authority. So there's no actual rule — it's just guidance — and that guidance can change at any time." After Congress passed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package in March, checks of up to $1,200 were automatically sent in most cases to people who filed income tax returns for 2018 or 2019, including some who are incarcerated. A couple of...
    US prisoners USA they have received coronavirus checks and now the IRS wants them back The IRS indicated that it had sent the stimulus checks to the prisoners by mistake A tax attorney indicated that there is no legal basis to request the return of the checks Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help recover the cash that the federal tax agency says was sent by error, according to The Associated Press. The legislation authorizing payments during the pandemic does not specifically exclude inmates from jail or prison, and the IRS has declined to say...
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars in California and across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent. The legislation authorizing the payments during the pandemic doesn’t specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS has refused to say exactly what legal authority it has to retrieve the money. On its website, it points to the unrelated Social Security Act, which bars incarcerated people from receiving some types of old-age and survivor insurance benefit payments. “I can’t give you the legal basis. All I can tell you...
    By REBECCA BOONE, Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent. The legislation authorizing the payments during the pandemic doesn’t specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS has refused to say exactly what legal authority it has to retrieve the money. On its website, it points to the unrelated Social Security Act, which bars incarcerated people from receiving some types of old-age and survivor insurance benefit payments. “I can’t give you the legal basis. All I can...
    BOISE, Idaho -- Hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief payments have been sent to people behind bars across the United States, and now the IRS is asking state officials to help claw back the cash that the federal tax agency says was mistakenly sent.The legislation authorizing the payments during the pandemic doesn't specifically exclude jail or prison inmates, and the IRS has refused to say exactly what legal authority it has to retrieve the money. On its website, it points to the unrelated Social Security Act, which bars incarcerated people from receiving some types of old-age and survivor insurance benefit payments."I can't give you the legal basis. All I can tell you is this is the language the...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – The number of Florida inmates who have died from COVID-19 has climbed to 21, while nearly 1,800 prisoners have tested positive for the disease, the Florida Department of Corrections reported on Tuesday. It was not immediately known which prison housed the 21st inmate to die from complications of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. The Florida Department of Health each Wednesday discloses the prisons where inmates have died. Download The New CBS4 News App Here The most up-to-date information showed 19 inmates had died at eight prisons, including seven at Blackwater River Correctional Facility, three at Sumter Correctional Institution and two each at Dade Correctional Institution, Everglades Correctional Institution and Union Correctional...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — The Cook County Public Defender and defense attorneys are suing the city of Chicago for denying lawyers access to people in police custody. The groups said the city has a systemic practice of denying people in police custody access to counsel and phones. “As we sit here today, we anticipate that there there’ll be hundreds of people in the city of Chicago arrested who will not be given access to a phone or an attorney until they are released,” said attorney Brendan Shiller. “If they have a misdemeanor or processed, if they have a felony. That is the course of conduct. It’s gotten so bad that is required this emergency legal action.” The groups said it’s become more...
    SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) — An outbreak of coronavirus among the inmates at San Quentin grew to 317 confirmed active cases Monday, more than doubling over the weekend, state prison officials said. There have been no confirmed deaths at San Quentin, but state prison officials said that 19 inmates have died of the virus at other facilities around the state. Just a month ago, San Quentin had no reported cases. Now, it is among the most infected of the state prisons behind Chuckawalla Valley that has 716 active cases and California Institution for Men-Chino that has 507. At last report, 37 staff members also tested positive. That number is up from only 26 cases confirmed on June 16.  Last week,...
    FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Out of 4,444 inmates in the Tarrant County Jail’s three facilities, 19 have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday. Seven jail team members also tested positive. Prior to last week’s testing, experts warned that in the type of environment being tested, they could expect about 3.5% of the tests to come back positive. But, according to Lt. Jennifer Gabbert with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, only .6% (less than 1%) tested positive among inmates and jail staff. “Though we hate that anyone has this illness, we are glad it is so few. All of those individuals have been quarantined and are being cared for and precautions to prevent further spread continue,” said Gabbert. “We know these numbers...
    SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) — A coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison continues to grow Saturday, with more inmates and prison staff testing positive with COVID-19.  The number of cases has grown exponentially in the past two weeks. There are now 151 inmates that have tested positive for COVID-19 according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation coronavirus website. One of those inmates who tested positive has been released, the site said. At last report, 37 staff members also tested positive. That number is up from only 26 cases confirmed on June 16.  Earlier this week, advocates, prisoners and their families demanded urgent action to release prisoners and curb the spread.  During a virtual press conference Tuesday morning,...
    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported Thursday that 351 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus pandemic began, along with 2,599 jail inmates. According to statistics released Thursday morning, 275 department employees are currently quarantined, and 1,864 have returned to work after being quarantined. Of the 351 employees who tested positive, 249 are sworn personnel and the remainder are civilian personnel. Of the 275 employees currently quarantined, 164 are sworn personnel and the remainder are civilian personnel. And of the 1,864 employees who have returned to work after being quarantined, 1,330 are sworn personnel and the remainder are civilian. In the jail system, 2,129 inmates are currently quarantined, and 71 are in isolation. Of...
    State prison inmates in California who have less than 180 days left to serve and meet certain other criteria will be released ahead of schedule beginning Wednesday, July 1, in hopes of stemming outbreaks of COVID-19, officials said Tuesday. The move aims to increase space inside state prisons, thereby allowing for better physical distancing and the isolation of patients, and could impact prisoners at facilities throughout California. Those who are allowed to leave prison ahead of schedule will be offered COVID-19 tests, California Depatment of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said in a news release. Prisoners found to be infected prior to release will be placed into a housing situation that will allow for isolation and monitoring. Eligible inmates either will...
    Cases of the novel coronavirus in American prisons and jails have doubled over the last month. There are more than 68,000 inmates confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, reported The New York Times. According to the newspaper, the five largest-known clusters across the country are in correctional institutions, prison complexes and jails. Additionally, deaths among prisoners have soared by nearly 75 percent over the last four weeks. Over the last month, coronavirus cases among prison inmates have more than doubled to more than 68,000. Pictured: Inmates gather outside of tents at the Federal Correctional Institute Terminal Island prison in Los Angeles, California, May 1 The five largest-known clusters across the US are in correctional...
    Cases of the coronavirus in prisons and jails across the United States have soared in recent weeks, even as the overall daily infection rate in the nation has remained relatively flat. The number of prison inmates known to be infected has doubled during the past month to more than 65,000. Prison deaths tied to the coronavirus have also risen, by 73% since mid-May. By now, the five largest known clusters of the virus in the United States are not at nursing homes or meatpacking plants, but inside correction institutions, according to data The New York Times has been collecting about confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached U.S. shores. And the risk of more cases appears imminent: The swift growth...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Two inmates at a Southern California prison have died from what appear to be complications of the coronavirus, state corrections officials said Monday. The two were housed at the California Institution for Men in Chino, east of Los Angeles in San Bernardino County. One died Sunday and the other died Monday at an outside hospital, according to a statement from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Although their deaths are believed to be related to COVID-19, the exact causes have not yet been determined, the department said. TOP STORIES Trump says Rayshard Brooks shooting was disturbing, plans executive order on police on Tuesday Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history Of course there is...
    PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has asked for a list names by June 22 of inmates eligible for possible release to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state prison system. The state Department of Corrections was asked to perform a “case-by-case analysis” of inmates who are vulnerable to the coronavirus and meet the outlined criteria for possible commutation, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The criteria includes inmates who are particularly vulnerable, those who have not been convicted of a crime against another person and those who have served at least half of their sentences, department officials said. About 100 inmates were identified. TOP STORIES Four St. Louis police officers charged with beating undercover colleague NASCAR rejects advertising from gun...
    An 80-year-old man serving a life sentence at the St. Clair Correctional Facility died this morning after testing positive for COVID-19.  Clarence Shepherd died in the medical isolation area in St. Clair prison, according to a press release from the Alabama Department of Corrections.  Shepherd is the third state inmate to have died after testing positive for the virus.  Shepard was tested on May 27 after exhibiting symptoms of coronavirus, and was transferred to a local hospital for treatment after those test results came back positive on May 29, according to the release. He also had multiple, chronic debilitating diseases, according to the department.  Subscribe to APR's daily newsletter Shepherd’s exact cause of death is pending an autopsy. The infirmary...
    In just under two weeks, six inmates at the overcrowded Kilby Correctional facility recently died from illnesses, the Alabama Department of Corrections confirmed for APR on Friday.  Just one of the men was tested for COVID-19, and the test came back negative before his death, ADOC spokeswoman Samantha Rose said in a message Friday.  “Please note that, at the times of their passing, these inmates were not exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19, were not under level-two quarantine following direct exposure to an inmate or staff member who previously had tested positive for the virus, and were not in medical isolation as a result of a positive COVID-19 test,” Rose said in the message. “As these individuals had not displayed...
    Three additional Alabama prison workers have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total of active confirmed cases among staff to 75.  The Alabama Department of Correction on Tuesday announced the latest confirmed cases among staff, including a worker at the Staton Correctional Facility, one worker at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and one at the Ventress Correctional Facility.  In total there have been 102 confirmed cases among prison employees since the outbreak began, while 27 have since been cleared to return to work.  Tutwiler Prison for Women has had the most confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 23 staff infected and three inmates, according to ADOC. Nine workers at Staton prison have self-reported positive test results, while 13 have done...
    Sixteen more Alabama Department of Corrections employees, including three at the department’s headquarters in Montgomery, have tested positive for COVID-19.  The department’s latest update, released Monday evening, puts the total of confirmed cases among employees at 99, with 73 cases still active.  Five more inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 as well, including inmates at the Donaldson Correctional Facility, the Easterling Correctional Facility, the Kilby Correctional Facility, the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and the St. Clair Correctional Facility.  18 of 27 confirmed cases among inmates remained active as of Monday, according to ADOC.  Subscribe to APR's daily newsletter Of the department’s 28 facilities, there have been confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff or inmates in 21. Of the state’s approximately...
    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among prison workers in Alabama continues to rise. The Alabama Department of Corrections announced Friday that seven more prison employees have tested positive for the virus.  Three workers at the Staton Correctional Facility, three more at the Kilby Correctional Facility and another at the Elmore Correctional Facility all self-reported positive results for COVID-19, ADOC said in a press release.  That makes 83 confirmed cases among prison workers. 25 of those employees have been cleared to return to work.  Subscribe to APR's daily newsletter There have been 22 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two deaths among inmates, but just 202 of approximately 22,000 state inmates have been tested, according to ADOC. Eight of those...
    NEW YORK (AP) - The true number of COVID-19 infections among inmates at Manhattan’s federal lockup was likely about seven times what the Bureau of Prisons has previously publicly reported, a government lawyer conceded Tuesday. The bureau’s website says five inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center have had the virus. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Jean-David Barnea, representing the MCC’s warden at a court hearing, said at least 34 inmates had been quarantined with symptoms because they were believed to have it. Barnea made the revelation at a federal court hearing for a lawsuit that seeks court oversight over conditions for the nearly 800 inmates at the MCC. Despite conceding the number of virus cases was probably much higher than five,...
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday upheld Arkansas’ execution process, ruling that the state can continue to use a sedative in lethal injections that other states have backed away from and rejecting claims that its use amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled the use of midazolam in lethal injections is constitutional and dismissed claims that less painful methods of execution are available. Attorneys for the inmates have said those alternatives include a firing squad and a barbiturate commonly used in physician assisted suicide. The ruling comes more than three years after Arkansas raced to execute eight inmates over 11 days, before its batch of midazolam expired. The state ultimately put...
    NEW YORK (AP) — Prisoners with COVID-19 symptoms were neglected and ignored as the outbreak rippled through the federal detention center in Manhattan where financier Jeffrey Epstein died last summer, according to a doctor who performed a court-authorized inspection of the facility this month. Social distancing was almost nonexistent in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where some inmates sleep on bunks within arm’s reach of each other, according to a report by Dr. Homer S. Venters, a former chief medical officer for New York City’s jails who toured the facility May 13. The jail only let several prisoners get tested for the virus, Venters wrote. Five infected inmates were sent to a high-security housing unit that he said was “grossly inappropriate...