Ayanna Pressley

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Democrat: Release Prisoners

Jeff Katz
March 16, 2020 - 5:52 pm

During an interview with MSNBC's Al Sharpton on Saturday, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) called for the commutation of sentences of federal prisoners because of their vulnerability due to coronavirus.

The "Squad" member said that she and other Democrats in Congress were asking the Bureau of Prisons for what she called "compassionate" releases.

Pressley said, "Specifically, do they have access to testing? Secondly, has anyone tested positive, and what are the quarantine measures? Again given the overpopulating and the fact that many of these facilities are already subpar and that incarcerated men and women do not have access to soap, to alcohol-based hand sanitizers — and to regular showers, what is the guidance for those incarcerated and for staff? And that the B.O.P. Use their full powers, I think now would be the time to commute some sentences, to exact clemency and to take care of our most our vulnerable. Ten percent of those incarcerated are over the age of 60 and already have an underlying condition. We should be using compassionate release."