SONYEA - An inmate at the Groveland Correctional Facility is arguing her multiple, serious medical conditions, coupled with potential exposure to the new coronavirus, puts her at “an unacceptably high risk of death.” This risk, which the inmate says stems directly from her presence in the state prison, stands in violation to the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments, she claims.
The inmate, who is a transgender woman, filed a write of habeas corpus petition last month in Livingston County Supreme Court in which she argues for her “immediate release from confinement.”
Identified in court records only as A.A., the inmate was convicted of attempted burglary in the second-degree in 2018. A class D felony, A.A.’s earliest release date is in June 2022, according to her habeas corpus filing.
In the filing, A.A.’s attorneys say she suffers from “a number of serious medical conditions,” including HIV and a history of lung complications.
“These are serious health conditions that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, put her at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and thereafter dying from its effects,” reads a portion of her petition. “This risk is of great concern for people like A.A., and these risks are heightened by A.A.’s health conditions.”
A.A. also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression as a result of “a long history of sexual abuse and exploitation,” her attorneys claim. These mental illnesses manifest by suppressing A.A.’s immune system, her attorneys claim, “making her more at risk for contracting viruses such as COVID-19.”
A.A. is being represented jointly by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, a large law firm based in New York City, and The Legal Aid Society, a non-profit, likewise, based in New York.
Thomas Moran, a supreme court justice with the 7th Judicial District of New York, has scheduled a hearing for June 11 at the Livingston County Courthouse in Geneseo. In his order setting the hearing, Moran directed Shawn Cronin, superintendent of Groveland Correctional, and Anthony Annucci, acting commissioner of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, to show cause why A.A. should not be released from prison. A.A. is to attend the hearing remotely, via Skype.