Commentary: Letters from a D.C. Jail

This week, five Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding his office’s handling of January 6 protesters. The letter revealed the senators are aware that several Capitol defendants charged with mostly nonviolent crimes are being held in solitary confinement conditions in a D.C. jail used exclusively to house Capitol detainees.

Joe Biden’s Justice Department routinely requests—and partisan Beltway federal judges routinely approve—pre-trial detention for Americans arrested for their involvement in the January 6 protest. This includes everyone from an 18-year-old high school senior from Georgia to a 70-year-old Virginia farmer with no criminal record.

It is important to emphasize that the accused have languished for months in prison before their trials even have begun. Judges are keeping defendants behind bars largely based on clips selectively produced by the government from a trove of video footage under protective seal and unavailable to defense lawyers and the public—and for the thoughtcrime of doubting the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

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Coronavirus Prison Deaths Up 73 Percent Since Mid-May: Report

Coronavirus-related deaths in prisons and correctional facilities have reportedly increased by nearly 75% since mid-May, according to The New York Times.

Coronavirus-related deaths in prisons increased 73%  since mid-May totaling at least 607, according to the NYT’s database. The highest number of confirmed prison COVID-19 cases have been at Marion Correctional Institution in Ohio (2,439).

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Supreme Court Delays Federal Prison Inmates’ Release in Ohio

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted the federal government’s request to delay the release of medically vulnerable inmates at a federal prison in eastern Ohio where hundreds have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the brief order Thursday evening — staying an order from a lower court to speed up the inmates’ release — until the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in the matter.

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Nashville Chief Public Defender Wants Even More Inmates Released Due to COVID-19

Metro Nashville Chief Public Defender Martesha L. Johnson has formally asked that members of the Davidson County Criminal Court immediately release an additional number of inmates from jail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These inmates are housed in the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and at Core Civic facilities, Johnson said.

“It is perhaps an unprecedented request for relief in Nashville, but has been utilized in jurisdictions across the country,” Johnson said in her motion.

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