Public defenders in King County, Washington, are pushing the prosecutor’s workplace to cut back jail bookings for suspects accused of non-violent crimes, arguing that they face a heightened danger of catching the coronavirus amid the unfold of the omicron variant.
The matter was mentioned throughout a Tuesday morning virtual hearing held by the Legislation, Justice, Well being and Human Providers Committee. Based on its web site, the committee considers and makes suggestions on insurance policies referring to regulation, security, and legal justice.
The King County Division of Public Protection (DPD), run by Anita Khandelwal, offered an eight-page PowerPoint slide, arguing that jail bookings put suspects at a better danger of catching COVID-19 in jail, and topics their legal professionals to longer wait instances.
MANHATTAN DA: ‘I DON’T UNDERSTAND THE PUSHBACK’ TO LIGHTER PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLENT CRIMINALS
The slides argued that “BIPOC people” – or folks of colour – and people experiencing poverty are impacted the toughest by these circumstances.
Khandelwal’s presentation known as on the county to file solely “allegations of serious violence” however develop restrictions to the next offenses: possession of a stolen car, residential housebreaking, failure to register as a intercourse offender, fugitive warrants, in addition to drug fees associated to possession and distribution.
“We are facing the worst crisis that we have seen since the pandemic started regarding access to counsel and access to court,” a slide reads. “Imperative that we take action now.”
The presentation additional instructed that prosecutors can reassess this proposed coverage as soon as the pandemic has handed. Any resolution on the proposal falls on the King County Council.
Each day Publish has reached out to Khandelwal and the Division of Public Protection for additional remark however didn’t hear again earlier than publication.
Comparable measures have been proposed and, in some instances, put into place in different main metropolitan areas for the reason that onset of the pandemic to various outcomes.