I really don’t fuck with Texas politicians, y’all. These motherfuckers really never miss an opportunity to be dumb, cruel, or just flat-out trash. A group of prisoners in the state filed a lawsuit last year to have hand sanitizer, soap, and proper social distancing measures implemented in prisons to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Instead of doing that, the state of Texas spent $1.1 million on a lawsuit to fight the case.
They could’ve spent that money on some Purell or maybe some face masks for inmates, but I guess they thought being inhumane assholes was a better use of their money.
According to Insider, the lawsuit was filed by Laddy Curtis Valentine, 69, and Richard Elvin King, 73, two men currently incarcerated at the Pack Unit geriatric prison in Grimes County. Their suit alleged that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice was failing to “prevent transmission of COVID-19 to some of its most vulnerable inmates.”
The complaint alleged, for example, that the Pack Unit was denying prisoners access to personal protective equipment and alcohol-based hand rub but was giving it to non-prisoners conducting many of the same tasks.
The complaint requested that the judge order the department to provide soap, disposable towels, and hand sanitizer to prisoners and enforce a 6-foot social-distancing rule in communal areas.
The plaintiffs won the case in late September, but it was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last month. The US Supreme Court declined to take up the case earlier this month.
Instead of behaving like decent people, the Marshall Project reporter Keri Blakinger posted documents from the state attorney general’s office on Twitter that revealed the state spent over a million dollars on travel fees, contract costs, and billable hours for attorneys.
This is news that is firmly filed under “disappointing, but not surprising.” Throughout the pandemic, there have been concerns nationwide that prisons and jails weren’t taking the proper steps to mitigate the spread of the disease. In December, the Associated Press reported that one in five inmates at federal and state prisons tested positive for coronavirus, which was four times the rate of infection among the general population.