Jeremy covers public corruption, white-collar crime and the criminal misuse of power by celebrities, elected officials and others who despite having been given a leg-up in life are still willing to break the law in pursuit of more.
Though stakeholders have reached an agreement to potentially release hundreds of low-level offenders from the city's jails as the coronavirus spreads behind bars, fingerpointing and acrimony marked the negotiations. Meanwhile, 31 inmates are now infected.
The decision comes after The Inquirer reported that at least two dozen people showed up to last Sunday’s 11 a.m. Mass and were served Holy Communion, despite Archbishop Nelson J. Perez’s order earlier this month suspending all public Masses in an effort to curb the coronavirus’ spread.
Recent court filings, interviews and social media posts detail an increasingly tense environment behind bars — one in which close quarters make social distancing all but impossible, and where daily contact between inmates and guards has led to a growing sense that coronavirus exposure is inevitable.
“It would be heartless and inhumane not to recognize [the] petitioner’s plight,” U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III wrote. “Should we fail to [order their release] … we will be party to an unconscionable and possibly barbaric result.”
Social distancing procedures are being adopted throughout the U.S. and much of the globe, but some religious organizations have been slow to act. In Philadelphia, Sunday Mass — with Holy Communion — continues at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.
In a petition filed Monday, the lawyers pleaded with the court to order all counties to limit new jail admissions, and order the release of many nonviolent and high-risk offenders to prevent a "public health catastrophe."