17 States and DC Have Stopped Reporting Active COVID Cases Behind Bars

On July 5, Rita Deanda tested positive for COVID while incarcerated at the California Institution for Women. She was immediately ordered to pack her belongings and moved to a quarantine unit, which she referred to as “COVID jail.” That was where she spent the next 11 days. The 57-year-old doesn’t know how she got COVID; she was taking precautions, such as wearing her mask and doing her best to socially distance from others. On the day she was tested, Deanda recalled that she felt great. But the week before, she told Truthout, “I had a migraine from hell and thought…

Oklahoma Republicans Pass Texas-Style 6-Week Abortion Ban

The Republican-controlled Oklahoma state legislature passed a bill on Thursday that is modeled after the six-week abortion ban that Texas implemented last fall, which allows private residents to sue abortion providers in order to enforce the ban. Senate Bill 1503 would ban all abortions in Oklahoma after six weeks of pregnancy, so early on in the pregnancy that often people don’t even know yet that they’re pregnant. Like Texas’s six-week abortion ban, the bill places the onus of enforcement on individuals rather than the state. In other words, the state wouldn’t force abortion providers to abide by the new rules…

“Don’t Say Gay” Bills Aren’t New. Some States Have Had Them for Decades.

Originally published by The 19th. Earlier this month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law House Bill 322, colloquially dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, restricting public school teachers from discussing LGBTQ+ history or people in public elementary schools. It stood out for two reasons: Alabama was just the second state to pass such a law in 21 years, after Florida passed a similar measure in March. But more significantly, Ivey had just signed a repeal of a similar law the previous year. At least 20 states have introduced “Don’t Say Gay” laws this year, which have made waves around…

Julius Jones Will “Fight Another Day” — Death Sentence Commuted

On Thursday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) commuted the sentence of Julius Jones, a Black man on death row for a murder that all available evidence suggests he didn’t actually commit. “After prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, I have determined to commute Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” Stitt wrote in a tweet announcing his decision. The announcement was made just hours before Jones was scheduled to be executed. Upon hearing the news, activists who were gathered in the state capitol building to demand action from the governor…

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