The American Civil Liberties Union has filed lawsuits against Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra demanding they reduce jail populations and freeze all ICE transfers amid the coronavirus threat.
The lawsuits, filed Friday in the state Supreme Court, allege violation of the Eighth Amendment that prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment” against prisoners and the 14th Amendment that guarantees due process rights.
“It is not just those confined to jails, detention centers, and youth facilities who are in danger,” said Peter J. Eliasberg, chief counsel of the ACLU of Southern California, in a statement. “Once the virus gets inside, the regular movement of staff and visitors in and out means that walls and razor wire can neither slow nor stop the viral spread to communities at large.”