Jalil Muntaqim Hospitalized with Covid-19
Respected Elder Jalil Muntaqim Hospitalized with COVID-19
Widely respected elder Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), who in his teens joined the Black Panther Party, and who was convicted at 19 and has been incarcerated for 49 years in NYS prisons on a 25-year minimum sentence, became ill last week, and has tested positive for COVID-19. His health deteriorated over the weekend and he has been hospitalized since Monday.
For months, public health experts, faith leaders, Congress members, and hundreds of others have warned NYS officials that the prisons are potential death traps in the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing this, a New York State judge on April 27th ordered Jalil’s temporary release from Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY, based on his extreme vulnerability to the virus. Jalil is 68 years old and suffers from serious chronic health conditions that can make COVID-19 deadly.
However, NYS Attorney General Letitia James, acting on behalf of NYS DOCCS Commissioner Anthony Annucci, appealed the ruling, blocking Jalil’s release and forcing him to remain in prison. Just as we feared, Jalil, who was ordered released a month ago, eventually contracted COVID-19.
On May 28th, a NYS Court of Appeals (Appellate Divison, Third Dept.) heard oral arguments from Jalil’s attorney and the DOCCS attorney. The hearing was streamed live from the Court's website. The Court does archive the oral arguments, so as soon as that is available, we will post the link here. Jericho encourages everyone to watch this hearing. Jalil's attorney Nora Carroll was excellent!
Read more about the case (with additional articles coming soon):