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  • Doug Tjapkes

What not to read in the doctor's office

I’m sitting on a little bench in the examining room, waiting for the doctor, who is about to perform my annual physical examination. No magazines allowed, thanks to COVID 19. So, I scroll through the daily email dispatch from the wonderful Marshall Project on my telephone screen.

Item #1, Nearly 79,000 prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 in state and federal penitentiaries.

Item #2, New Jersey legislators are poised to pass a COVID-19-related measure that would authorize the release of about 3,000 state prisoners who are within eight months of their release date. (Something like that could and should be happening in Michigan, but it is not!)

Item #3, Death row prisoners in California are dying of COVID-19 while the state’s attorney general defends dubious convictions and sentences.

Item #4, Patricia Ann Prewitt is the longest-serving woman in Missouri’s prison system, sent away for life after being convicted of murdering her husband in 1984. There was little evidence against her—she professes her innocence 35 years later.

Item #5, William Haymon has spent more than 500 days in an adult jail in Mississippi without any charges filed against him and without prosecutors presenting evidence to a grand jury. Haymon is 16 years old.

Item #6, Prosecutors in Miami-Dade, Florida, dropped charges against a county prisoner after a video shows him, handcuffed and with a cane, being attacked by a guard.

I stopped reading, as the door opened.

“Do I detect I spike in your blood pressure, Mr. Tjapkes?”

Grrrrrrrr


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