(#38) No Trial

The biblical Joseph tells his fellow prisoners: “For in truth, I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews; nor have I done anything here that they should have put me in the dungeon.” — Gen 40:15

Sforno (Italy, c.1470 – 1550 CE) explains that Joseph’s meaning:

the reason why he will have me released will be due to your words, for it will be found that neither my status as slave nor that as prisoner is due to any fault of mine. I have never had a trial nor been convicted of any wrongdoing

Like Joseph, hundreds of thousands incarcerated in the U.S. today are pre-trial, often held due to lack of bail. See the most recent (2020) Prison Policy Institute report. See also this older PPI report by state, including the District of Columbia, and here is the U.S. Department of Justice report showing the increase in pre-trial detention.

Contact PPI for information on Covid-19 and statistics on safe prisoner release.

See also Interfaith Action for Human Rights, Southern Poverty Law Center, and ACLU.

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