AMID PANDEMIC, A GRAVE INJUSTICE GOES ON FOR STATE’S INMATES
June 8, 2020
By Michael Meltsner
Thousands of all races have taken to the streets, often defying curfew orders, in protests that transcend even the unspeakable crime of George Floyd’s death. Crowds are telling the organs of law enforcement and criminal justice that law has been used to thwart, not achieve, justice and dignity. Even in our progressive state, with a steady governor and a farsighted judiciary, the lesson has not been learned. In a lengthy opinion, the Supreme Judicial Court agreed that there are significant risks to life and health to prison inmates and guards from incarceration in lockdown and close quarters during the pandemic, but the court failed to order release of the hundreds of vulnerable elderly prisoners who pose no risk to public safety.