Joaquin Phoenix and John Legend Call for Release of Prisoners Amid Covid-19 Pandemic

The 'Joker' actor and the 'All of Me' crooner have called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release some inmates from prison amid the coronavirus outbreak.

AceShowbiz - Joaquin Phoenix has called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to release some prisoners in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The "Joker" star shared his thoughts in a clip posted on Twitter by the Release Aging People in Prison Campaign on Tuesday, April 12, 2020.

"I'm calling on @NYGovCuomo to take action in New York by granting clemency to New Yorkers in prison," he said. "The lives of so many people depend on his action. No one deserves to die in prison from COVID-19."

"The spread of coronavirus in prisons threatens the health and safety of all of us. When you're incarcerated there's no such thing as social distancing and ensuring good hygiene is not an option. Leaders must do everything possible to prevent incarcerated people and those who work in prisons from becoming ill and spreading the virus."

Singer John Legend also shared his concerns about prison capacity and the spread of COVID-19, saying in a video on his Twitter page on Tuesday, "Gov. Cuomo it's time for action. You can make communities across New York safer and healthier by reducing the prison population."

"You can grant immediate clemency to people who are close to their release date, incarcerated for parole violations or especially vulnerable because of their age or underlying health conditions. Gov. Cuomo, free them now. Thank you and hope you are having a good week, take care."

Calls to release prisoners come after Governor Cuomo's administration authorised the discharge of 1,100 parole violators from behind bars, in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

However, campaigners have called for more prisoners to be released, especially given alarming figures from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision figures, confirming that 150 incarcerated individuals, 618 employees, and 24 parolees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of April 14.

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