Expanding Compassion Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic
30 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2021 Last revised: 3 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 30, 2021
Compassionate relief matters. It matters so that courts may account for tragically unforeseeable events, as when an illness or disability renders proper care impossible while a defendant remains incarcerated, or when family tragedy leaves an inmate the sole caretaker for an incapacitated partner or minor children. It matters too, as present circumstances make clear, when public-health calamities threaten inmates with literal death sentences. It matters even when no crisis looms, but simply when continued incarceration would be “greater than necessary” to achieve the ends of justice.
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