To the Editor:
As the world watches COVID-19 numbers skyrocket everywhere, and all that comes with it, there is a pressing matter that seems to be noticed but also passed by. Gov. Scott said he defends all the COVID-19 restrictions. However, one of those restrictions is canceling trials again, until the safety of all involved can be secured.
When does the right for a fair and speedy trial fit in? Or innocent until proven guilty, yet being imprisoned for over three years awaiting a trial, with no end in sight?
Gov. Scott protecting his constituents from the virus is one thing, but does an illness/disease overthrow our rights? As written in the article (“Vermont cancels planned return of jury trials,” Banner, Nov. 18), inmates contracted the virus while awaiting trial. I’m one of those inmates, the only one to get it from returning out-of-state inmates. I have asthma, and could have died.
So many people are quick to bring suits against employers or establishments if they contract the virus, yet no one is willing to help the hundreds of inmates trapped, with no hope to get out or be found innocent due to this awful virus. What will Gov. Scott do to protect and ensure our rights will be followed/enforced?
All of my rights, not only as a person of the community but also as an inmate, were violated by the Department of Corrections during the quarantine of us COVID-19 patients. Subjected to 24/7 in-cell lockdown with other inmates, no clean clothes or bedding, no showers, no confidential lawyer or prisoner rights calls, no contact with our families, the list goes on.
As a society of individuals so willing/wanting equality for all, and so enthusiastic about rights, freedoms and liberties, I ask, Where is our defense? What will be done, and who is willing to stand up for our rights?
The writer is detained at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland.