Shifting the Blame for Coronavirus Deaths in Texas Prisons from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to the Governor and His Appointed Board of Pardons and Parole
Date:  07-08-2020

Critics claim Governor and board refused call for releasing those near end of sentence or with short sentences
From The Texas Tribune:

At least 84 Texas state prisoners have died after contracting the coronavirus, including men who were serving short sentences or set to soon go home. As the death count rose, advocates unsuccessfully called on the governor and parole board for early release.'

James Allen Smith was only supposed to be at a Texas prison for a matter of months, sentenced to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after he pled guilty to a repeat DWI offense in January.

But in May, while in a Huntsville prison where Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials halted almost all movement as inmates and employees fell ill with the new coronavirus, the 73-year-old retired teacher from Bastrop also contracted the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Instead of coming home to his family after completing a short program, Smith died in prison custody on June 11.

“We never thought this would happen,” Lani Davis, Smith’s 26-year-old granddaughter, told The Texas Tribune last week, shock still evident in her voice. “He was going to get out, he was being fine. … He was only sentenced to six months.” Continue reading >>>