The Dems on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to AG Bill Barr urging him to release “as many” federal inmates “as possible” during the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter signed by committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and Rep. Karen Bass, also called on the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons to “modify the sentences of prisoners who present ‘extraordinary and compelling reasons.'”
“We call on you, in the most urgent terms, to do the right thing and exercise this authority and immediately move to release medically-compromised, elderly and pregnant prisoners from the custody of the BOP,” the lawmakers wrote. “In addition, we urge that you use every tool at your disposal to release as many prisoners as possible, to protect them from COVID-19.”
The Washington Examiner reported that the letter highlighted the first death of a BOP prisoner from complications with the coronavirus, and guard from the same detention facility who is in intensive care after contracting the virus.
“The decedent was a 49-year-old African-American man who, according to the BOP’s press release announcing his death, had ‘long-term, pre-existing medical conditions which the CDC lists as risk factors for developing more severe COVID-19 disease,” the letter read.
“Squad” member Rep. Ayanna Pressley was also one of the other Dems who have advocated for the release of prisoners amid the pandemic.
“This pandemic, COVID-19, has certainly highlighted and exasperated every socio, ratio, and political fault line in our country. And I’m just advocating to make sure that when we are talking about those that are most vulnerable, our low-income residents and citizens, those experiencing homelessness, our seniors, that we are also including the incarcerated men and women, who are certainly amongst one of the most vulnerable populations,” she said.