Death Row Prisoners in Texas sue TDCJ

Clinton Young Foundation > News > Geen categorie > Death Row Prisoners in Texas sue TDCJ
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On May 1, a group of death row prisoners filed a class action complaint in a US District Court. Clinton is not amongst this group of prisoners. The class action complaint filed by the death row prisoners states that TDCJ does not take appropriate measures to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and fails to protect death row prisoners from exposure to the virus. 
The prisoners state that TDCJ has failed to implement necessary or even adequate policies and practices and that prisoners have been denied proper and equal access to vital preventative measures to avoid the transmission of COVID-19. The prisoners also state that TDCJ has failed to implement many of its own policies. The death row prisoners demand, amongst other things, the following changes:

  • access to antibacterial hand soap and disposable hand towels;
  • access to hand sanitizer;
  • cleaning supplies for each housing area;
  • require housing areas to be cleaned hourly;
  • implement and enforce strict social-distancing measures;
  • freely permit phone calls to attorneys regardless of whether the prisoner has a hearing date or filing date within the next 30 days, or has an execution date set;
  • implement social distancing strategies where practicable;
  • provide testing of all prisoners to determine those who are infected with COVID-19.

The prisoners state that the current conditions are unconstitutional because it is medically unsafe and dangerous, in violation of the Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment and against the Eight Amendment right. TDCJ said they have no comment on the class-action lawsuit. But they are reviewing it and want to emphasize the health of TDCJ offenders, employees and contractors are “of the utmost importance to the department”. The Texas death row prisoners have asked the court to allow them to join an earlier class action complaint that was filed on behalf of other TDCJ prisoners on March 30, 2020.