Criminal justice is a complex issue, and it is no secret that innocent people are convicted every day while guilty ones go free. Furthermore, the role that prisons and prisoner health plays in the process of criminal justice is a controversial one.
Every prison has a duty to the inmates to ensure that their basic needs are met. This means that they remain healthy, fed, and in a sanitary environment. When prisons cannot do this, they are liable to the families if prisoners die under their watch. Families file wrongful death lawsuits against prisons all the time. While prisoners do not make ideal plaintiffs, the government is not an ideal defendant, either.
So what happens now that you have a pandemic going on? Well, some of those awaiting trial have already been released to their families (depending on the charges) while others, who are considered low-risk, are also being released.
Mario Reinone Seeks COVID-19 Release
You may remember Mario Reinone from the Family Secrets investigation that led to the arrest of him and several of his cohorts. Reinone was an enforcer for the Outfit, a gang that terrorized Chicago. Reinone’s attorney claims that he is in the risk group for COVID-19 and at the age of 65 is no longer a threat to society. Reinone’s attorney says that if he is released, he would live with his daughter and grandchildren and work at his brother’s jewelry store.
Reinone is serving a 15-year sentence for a weapons charge. His attorney says that with so many former cohorts either dead or behind bars, the aged enforcer is no longer a threat to society.
Prosecutors are opposed to the option of freeing Reinone early. They say that once he is released, the chances that he will commit another crime are very high. Problematically for Reinone, the facility in which he has been kept has only one guard who has contracted COVID-19 and zero sick inmates.
Wyndham Latham Seeks COVID-19 Release
The Northwestern professor who was charged and convicted of fatally stabbing his boyfriend to fulfill an elaborate sexual fantasy is seeking release from prison on the basis of his immunology expertise.
His lawyers explained that Latham is a renowned immunologist who understands lung infections “better than anyone else.” His defense attorneys also suggested that Latham be monitored by a third-party during his release. The judge deferred the decision until prosecutors could formulate their arguments and vet the third-party monitor.
A previous effort to have Latham released early was denied. Attorneys for Latham said that a professional acquaintance, a writer, could check in on Latham daily to ensure that he is in compliance with release requirements.
Among Latham’s credentials are significant work conducted into the bubonic and pneumonic plagues, the disease that ravaged Europe throughout the Dark Ages.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are suspected of committing a serious crime in Chicago, then you need a criminal defense attorney who will fight to ensure that your rights are respected. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 to learn more about how we can help.