Some inmates released due to COVID-19 went on to allegedly commit crimes including murder

House Judiciary Committee Democrats are calling for the release of more prisoners due to COVID-19

Last Updated:
May 26, 2020 - 1:09pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Some state governments have released inmates due to the COVID-19 pandemic who have allegedly gone on to commit more crimes including murder, according to news reports. 

Governors and local officials are releasing inmates to help slow the spread of the virus in detention facilities, where the population is especially susceptible because of close living conditions. However, some of the inmates released from jail have been re-arrested, in some cases, in connection with violent crimes.

A man released from prison in Colorado as a result of the coronavirus outbreak was later arrested in connection with murder in April.

Earlier this month, an inmate released from jail in Hawaii was arrested in connection with murder.

In April, a Florida inmate released as part of an effort to cut back the size of the prison population due to COVID-19 was arrested for alleged manslaughter.

In New York, 50 released inmates reportedly committed crimes afterward. Two released inmates in California have also been re-arrested, according to local news reports.

On Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) reiterated his call for prisons to release more inmates to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

"The HEROES Act also includes a bill I introduced, called the 'Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act,' to help address this crisis in state and local prisons and jails," Nadler said, referring to the $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill the House passed last week. "This measure would utilize grant funding to incentivize the release of particularly vulnerable prisoners who are not a risk of harming others and to fund prevention and treatment of COVID-19 in prisons and jails."

Nadler said the releases should target those who don’t “pose a risk of harming others.”

Senate Republicans have said they are open to passing another round of stimulus money, but not the HEROES Act, which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday called a "$3 trillion left-wing wish list."

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said earlier this week that “no prison sentence should be a death sentence” for inmates.

Some inmates already released in certain states had been serving sentences for serious offenses.

A San Diego inmate who murdered her husband was approved for release due to COVID-19.

In April, Illinois released 4,000 inmates, including 64 that were serving a sentence for murder.

Virginia decided to approve inmates for release who were convicted of murder, rape, and kidnapping.

In Pennsylvania, a rape suspect was released from jail and died during a neighborhood altercation involving a SWAT team on May 12.

 

 

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