The Legal Aid Society of New York has filed 20 emergency clemency applications for incarcerated people with medical conditions that put them at high risk for COVID-19 complications.
The petitions outline how chronic illnesses make them particularly vulnerable.
Legal Aid said that one, identified only as J.S., suffers from chronic asthma. Serving a 6½-year sentence after pleading guilty in two separate incidents as a teenager, he is set to be released in August. Attorneys say he should be out now.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have individuals with asthma are at particularly high risk.
The society hopes the applications will put pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make good on promises to release inmates who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
“He said that every life is precious, so for these large numbers of vulnerable people in the prison system, it’s urgent for him to act,” said Ted Hausman, a Legal Aid attorney who supervised the applications.
READ MORE AT JUVENILE JUSTICE INFORMATION EXCHANGE