The Legal Aid Society @legalaidnyc petitioned and successfully advocated for the release of 51 people with parole violations detained at Rikers Island, due to their age or underlying medical conditions amid the Covid-19 pandemic. All their violations were non-criminal and may have resulted in a death sentence had they not been released.
In the release order, Justice Ralph Fabrizio writes, "The seriousness of this health crisis in terms of this writ was tragically and dramatically demonstrated even before the parties appeared for their virtual court appearance at 9:30 am on April 8, 2020." The order mentioned that an inmate who passed from Covid-19 was one of the petitioners in the writ.
While these releases are good news, this story highlights the importance of quick procedure. Hopefully, Orange County will soon follow New York’s courageous and revolutionary efforts to rectify the rights of the innocent.