Co-Sign Our Letter to Governor Tim Walz
The COVID-19 outbreak threatens all of us, but particularly the most vulnerable, impoverished, and marginalized Minnesotans. Without creative and thoughtful action from our leaders, this crisis will only exacerbate the long-standing race-based and wealth-based inequalities Minnesotans already suffer from.
The ACLU of Minnesota is standing ready to ensure this public health crisis doesn't threaten civil liberties or the Minnesota and United States Constitutions. This petition is an urgent plea from the people of our state: Lawmakers must take action based on existing law to avoid constitutional injuries, to protect vulnerable populations, and to reduce the COVID-19 exposure of government officials, those in the care of our prisons and jails, and the entire state.
Implementing the following suggestions will help protect the health, safety, and rights of all Minnesotans:
- Limit arrests to only the most serious offenses.
- Release people who are in jail simply because they can't afford to post bail.
- Ensure court scheduling problems do not infringe on people's rights.
- Recognize at-risk people should not be in jail, absent extraordinary circumstances.
- Institute furloughs, conditional medical releases, and sentence commutations for people in prisons who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19.
- Suspend revocations of probation and supervised release that are based on technical violations, and release all individuals who are being detained based on pending revocation proceedings.
- Take additional measures to avoid court docket backlogs.
- Provide free phone calls, video calls, and email to those in detention.
We believe that respecting the humanity of all Minnesotans and protecting their constitutional rights will help protect all of us from COVID-19. Pursuing all of these recommendations will support our shared values and make us proud to be Minnesotans.
Please sign this petition!