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Push for release of notorious Green River serial killer due to COVID-19 forces families to relive nightmare

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Left-wing Democrats, prosecutors and judges have been using the coronavirus pandemic to push for the release of as many people as possible from jails and prisons, claiming they’re ‘not safe’ in the confines of a cell.

And in many cases, criminals who are being released by courts are truly dangerous people who should still be behind bars.

Now, however, lawyers are pushing for the release of one of the country’s most notorious serial murders — Gary Ridgeway, a.k.a. the “Green River Killer,” believed responsible for the deaths of between 48 and 71 women during the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Isaac Zamora, who was convicted of killing six people in a 2008 shooting.

To review, Ridgeway was sentenced to 48 consecutive life terms December 18, 2003, in Seattle, Wash., without the possibility of parole — following a trial in which family members of his victims were forced to relive the horrors of his crimes and their losses.

Now, however, thanks to vultures in the legal industry, those families are likely to have to relive the nightmares.

According to The Olympian, lawyers for Ridgeway and Zamora have filed their release appeals with the Washington state parole board, which comes after an order from Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this month to release about 1,000 inmates.

The Olympian noted:

Justices heard virtual oral arguments in the case nonprofit law firm Columbia Legal Services filed last month on behalf of five inmates at various state prisons. The petition seeks to require Inslee and DOC to release inmates who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, as well as those nearing release.

Chief Justice Debra Stephens questioned Columbia attorney Nick Straley about the constitutional justification for when the judicial branch “gets to interfere with the exercise of discretion” by another branch — in this instance, the executive — under emergency conditions.

“The duty is to protect our clients from COVID-19, and all of the scientific evidence before the court indicates there have to be releases (of inmates) to do that,” Straley said, The Olympian reported.

Stephens then remarked she has concerns about what the supreme court ought to tell the governor and Stephen Sinclair, the Department of Corrections chief, to do.

“What is the mandate? We’re going to tell them, `release x number apparently,’ but I heard you say earlier they’d have discretion on who is safe to release,” Stephens said.

“What is constitutionally compelled is to operate a safe prison system and in this context, what that means is there are a number of people who can be safely held in the prisons. That is a number that can be determined. Can I tell you today what that number is? No. But neither can the Department of Corrections.”

Grotesquely, Columbia Legal is arguing that the state is violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” — by continuing to hold a convicted mass serial killer in a prison cell where he can (and should) be quarantined from the outside world.

Releasing him or any prisoner in Washington state is riskier because the coronavirus is more prevalent in the general population. In fact, Washington state was an early hotspot for COVID-19.

The Olympian noted further:

Columbia Legal has asked the court to identify all inmates who are 50 years old or over, those who have underlying medical conditions which put them at risk of serious harm or death from COVID-19, and those who have early release dates within the next 18 months or are currently on work release.

The Attorney General’s Office places the number of inmates in those categories at 11,715 including 5,272 who have committed serious violent offenses such as murder, assault, and rape.

Ridgeway and Zamora are among the inmates who meet those criteria.

The ordeal forced some family members of the victims of these two monsters to relive their horror. One of them was Tonya Fenton, whose mother was killed by Zamora. She posted an emotional appeal on Facebook.

The good news is the state Supreme Court denied this disgusting appeal by Columbia Legal, as the Daily Mail reports:

The Green River Killer – who murdered at least 49 women and evaded capture for two decades – has been denied release from prison, as thousands of Washington prison inmates are told they must stay behind bars during the pandemic.

The worst part, though, was that the high court’s ruling was a 5-4 decision, not 9-0 like it should have been.

Jon Dougherty

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