Public Defender Wants Inmates Released Amid Coronavirus

 A San Francisco police car sits parked in front of the Hall of Justice on February 27, 2014.
Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Inmates at heightened risk of coronavirus should be immediately released from San Francisco county jails while they await trial, according to the city's public defender office. 

Public Defender Mano Raju plans to file motions seeking the release of his office's clients who could be vulnerable to the spreading virus while they are locked up prior to the adjudication of their cases.

Those inmates include people who are older than 60, have heart or lung disease, diabetes and other conditions causing a compromised immune system, Raju's office said in a statement Tuesday. 

"People who are incarcerated in jail are already exposed to an unsafe environment," Raju said. "The cramped and unsanitary conditions in jail put the older or immunocompromised population at a much greater risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus,”