Pustaka discussed on Morning Edition

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To be an infectious disease expert for the centers for disease control Pustaka recently wrote an article for the magazine Christianity Today and he argued that now is the time for people to come together we really have a calling and that passengers to care for the vulnerable and to combat that and then it will be a the worst thing we can to your now close our doors to a community that it's hurting that it rang and I cried that is not only mental the recall that all the financial and so over the weekend pastor koh's congregation directly confronted their fears of the virus they sang together listen to a sermon just like any other Sunday what we are doing is opening our doors and inviting them into a place where they can process and share and pray together has to because it's his job now is not only caring for bodies it's about uniting souls it is illegal for anyone behind bars to process a cellphone in Mississippi it's a felony offense a Mississippi man picked up on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge didn't turn his phone over and he ended up with a twelve year sentence now there's a push to get the Mississippi Supreme Court to reconsider the case NPR's Cheryl Corley reports this case about cellphones prison and sentencing has some complicated twists and turns but there's little disagreement about a few facts number one it was August of twenty seventeen when police picked up now thirty nine year old Willie Nash for what they called a misdemeanor domestic violence charge number two the married father of three had a cell phone on him when police took him to the Newton county jail in east Mississippi and since they didn't search him they didn't find his cellphone will Bardwell is a senior attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center or SPLC and they might never have discovered that he had a cell phone if he had not offered up the cell phone and ask them to recharge the battery for it those are all functions none of those are back Stephen Kilgore is the district attorney for Mississippi's eighth judicial circuit his office prosecuted Willie Nash for his first time in jail for him did not be aware that you could have a cell phone would be shocking there's been lots of speculation about how Nash ended up with a cell phone and whether he knew the policy bottom line it's a felony in Mississippi for any incarcerated person to possess one the penalty is three to fifteen years the judge in the case held two prior convictions for burglary from nearly two decades ago against Nash he sentenced him to twelve years and told him he was fortunate he didn't get more time attorney Robert McDuff with the Mississippi center for justice calls that absurd he has obviously led a life since then that has not involved in any criminal convictions Johnson him based in part on convicts and that are that old simply makes no sense cell phones have long been considered a problem in prisons and jails thousands make their way behind bars despite efforts to stymie their flow the FBI says prisoners use them to commit more crimes from the inside or to harass victims families over the last few months the Mississippi prisons there's been lots of violent unrest and more than a dozen deaths governor Tate Reeves partially blames contraband cell phones these phones have been illegal for years but they've been snuck in and they're being used coordinate gang activity throughout the Mississippi system and even throughout the country that was a large part of what calls the recent series of killings to escalate as much as it did no the day after the governor's press conference protesters rallied at the Mississippi state capitol Benny Ivey the head of an activist group strong arms of Jackson said that if it weren't for cellphones.

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