Emancipate NC, along with our allies, filed suit today in the North Carolina Supreme Court. 

We are demanding the immediate release of hundreds of incarcerated people from the North Carolina prisons.

COVID-19 is a crisis inside prisons and jails. We have seen the virus spread out of control in these overcrowded and under-sanitized facilities in other states. Our incarcerated neighbors disproportionately experience health problems. Many are elders. We have seen that Black people are dying at egregious rates with this disease. Our friends and family members in prison are at grave risk of death.

Our Coalition has been advocating for de-carceration for weeks: through letters, press releases, Tweet storms, and behind-the-scenes conversations. Now, we are making a firm demand through this Writ of Mandamus. 

Emancipate NC’s client, Sandy Dowell, whom we helped get married last year, is a lead petitioner. She has served nearly 30 years in prison and is eligible for parole in December. She is diagnosed with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Her wife, Amanda Marriner, is waiting for her at home in Durham.

Thank you to our coalition partners, the ACLU of North Carolina, Forward Justice, Disability Rights North Carolina, the NAACP, and the National Juvenile Justice Network. 

View the text of the lawsuit →