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Massachusetts Top Court Declines to Order Prisoner Releases

June 2, 2020, 8:33 PM

Massachusetts’ top court refused to order the release of convicted prisoners in light of Covid-19, saying inmates who’ve sued over cramped conditions aren’t likely to succeed on claims that the current prison conditions violate their Eighth Amendment rights.

Although the plaintiffs likely will be able to establish that crowding poses a substantial risk of serious harm, they likely won’t be able to show the state was deliberately indifferent to that risk, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said in denying a preliminary injunction.

Similarly, the court said individuals who are civilly committed to substance abuse treatment facilities are unlikely to succeed ...

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