Today, we broadcast Part 2 of our series on Compassionate Release. Compassionate Release is the principle that sentences should be adjusted given “particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing”.
We now continue to hear from Alison Guernsey, who tells us about the barriers thrown up against this form of sentence reduction, such as excessively long sentences due to mandatory minimums.
While it is usually considered from the perspective of individual prisoners suffering, for example, from a terminal illness, compassionate release has become an urgent, collective demand in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it spreads within crowded, poorly ventilated prisons across the US.
You can listen our first episode on Compassionate Release here.
You can hear Dr. Garrett Felber’s Kite Line episodes on the history of Black radicalism in prison here and here. Felber was fired this week from his position at University of Mississippi due to his anti-racist work.