Hello, dear readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: We spoke to former jailhouse informants who say Philadelphia homicide detectives gave them access to sex and drugs and, in exchange, they gave statements in murder cases — and innocent men are serving life in prison to this day as a result.

Then: Our architecture critic delves into the complexities of the Bible Society’s new Philadelphia museum.

And: Schools will be a key stage to watch our handling of the coronavirus. We spoke with experts about whether the new air purifiers in Philly schools can be effective.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_AshleyHoffman, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

‘Sex for lies’

Former jailhouse informants are coming forward saying that Philadelphia homicide detectives provided access to sex and drugs in return for statements in murder cases — and that innocent men are serving life in prison as a result.

Our investigation starts with the story of Franklin Lee, who was facing serious charges in 1984 when, he said, detectives brought him to the Police Administration Building, known as the Roundhouse, and began to ask him about a murder. He says detectives instructed him to fabricate a statement claiming a suspect, Willie Stokes, confessed the crime to him.

In exchange, Lee says, detectives offered him lenient treatment and a way to make jail more pleasant: regular visits to the Roundhouse, where Lee could have sex in interview rooms. Lee said the women could freely bring drugs and money. Stokes was convicted and has served decades in prison. Now, those who testified against him say that they regret their role and that he’s innocent. “He shouldn’t be in there,” one told us.

Read on for more from reporter Samantha Melamed about the scheme some lawyers call “sex for lies.”

Bible Society’s new Philadelphia museum retells American history with a religious slant

Our architecture critic Inga Saffron takes a look at the American Bible Society’s new exhibition space on Independence Mall, the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center.

Located on the ground floor of a dreary, ’70s office building at Fifth and Market, the Faith and Liberty Center is the latest special interest group to carve out a spot on the mall to tell its version of the American story. The exhibits aim to show how religious faith shaped America’s basic values and remains the bulwark of all our freedoms. But Saffron says that in claiming that faith has made us a more tolerant nation, the Bible Society’s showcase actually throws America’s — and its own — shortcomings into stark relief.

Read on for her review of the new museum.

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