Supreme Court delays federal prison inmates' release in Ohio


CINCINNATI (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has granted the federal government's request to delay the release of medically vulnerable inmates at a federal prison in eastern Ohio where hundreds have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued the brief order Thursday evening — staying an order from a lower court to speed up the inmates' release — until the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules in the matter.

The Supreme Court last month denied the government’s request, mainly on procedural grounds. The government appealed again. Sotomayor handles emergency appeals from Ohio.

Her ruling put on hold earlier orders that the Bureau of Prisons speed up the release of more than 800 medically vulnerable inmates at a federal prison in Elkton in eastern Ohio.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and lead to death.

Inmate health has emerged as a major concern in Ohio and other states during the pandemic, and Elkton has been one of the hardest-hit prisons in the nation.

Hundreds of Elkton inmates and at least seven guards have tested positive for the coronavirus, and nine inmates have died.

More From

  • Yanks' mission unchanged: win 28th title, first since 2009

    Nothing changes the New York Yankees’ quest, not the novel coronavirus, not the shortest schedule in their century-plus history. "Where there’s no fans in the stands and you’re getting used to how to find that gear or how to find that energy in a situation that you’re not used to, I think there’s a competitive advantage to gain that we have to take advantage of,” the third-year manager added. New York expected to compete from the first pitch by new ace Gerrit Cole, just not while emerging from a socially distanced clubhouse to an empty Yankee Stadium.

  • Wait 'til next year: Giving up on 2020, looking toward 2021

    This was supposed to be the year of the comeback for Boysie Dikobe, a South African dancer recovering from his second hip replacement and gearing up to get back on stage when the coronavirus hit. “Every day felt heavier and heavier and heavier,” Perkins recalls, saying she had frequent breakdowns and couldn’t bring herself to officially cancel the wedding.

  • 1st female alleges sexual abuse by U of Michigan doctor

    The first female to publicly say she was sexually abused by a team doctor at the University of Michigan says she hopes to inspire other women and men to come forward. Cathy Kalahar, who played tennis for the Wolverines in the 1970s, joins hundreds of Michigan graduates who allege that doctor Robert Anderson molested them. Kalahar told The Associated Press on Monday that Anderson assaulted her during an exam when she was a freshman in 1973.

  • Cardinals quietly ramping up for shortened big league season

    Things have been remarkably ordinary as the St. Louis Cardinals conduct spring training 2.0. ''We feel like we're in a place where the work's been very solid and very efficient,'' manager Mike Shildt said. The Cardinals believe they had a roster capable of winning the NL Central when spring training was halted because of the pandemic.