Civil rights groups urging release of county jail inmates

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Civil rights organizations, doctors and others are calling for the release of as many pretrial detainees in Missouri as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Monday said local judges have the power to release detainees.

Last week, a coalition of more than 30 organizations and medical professions urged the Supreme Court to issue an order releasing county jail detainees awaiting trial for nonviolent crimes and those in high-risk categories based on their age or medical condition.

Health officials say 14 people have died and more than 1,000 coronavirus illnesses have been confirmed in Missouri.

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