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Legal Wrangle Continues Over Possible Release of Orange County Prisoners

court COVID Don Barnes jails NY-Cal Orange County Orange County Sheriff's Deparment Sheriff Southern California US

Legal Wrangle Continues Over Possible Release of Orange County Prisoners

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The fate of about 1,800 Orange County inmates remains unclear as legal proceedings continue into whether the prisoners should be released amidst an ongoing pandemic. During a Jan. 8 court hearing, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) answered questions regarding its plans to reduce a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus outbreak among its prison populations. The hearing ultimately resulted in the court ordering future hearings to obtain more information. The case began last year, when Sheriff Don Barnes received a Dec. 11 court order requiring county jails to reduce populations by 50 percent. It was a move Barnes has warned could result in large consequences for the community. Barnes appealed the court order, but was denied Dec. 29. He filed another appeal, which led to the Jan. 8 hearing, overseen by Superior Court Judge Peter J. Wilson. County attorneys Kayla Watson and Kevin Dunn, as well as American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer Corene Kendrick, were in attendance. …

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