NEWS (3/21/20): Pennsylvania—In a rare Saturday ruling, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has granted an emergency motion filed on behalf of Pennsylvania death-row prisoner Walter Ogrod seeking his removal from state prison to obtain immediate testing and treatment for symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Ogrod, who prosecutors concede is “likely innocent,” had been experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, including a dry cough and a 106°F fever. The prison infirmary had been treating him with Tylenol and had moved him in and out of isolation.

In his emergency ruling, Judge Leon Tucker wrote that the prison’s “failure to test and treat Mr. Ogrod for COVID-19 constitutes deliberate indifference to Mr. Ogrod’s serious medical needs” in violation of his state and federal constitutional rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The court ordered that “the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections shall immediately transfer Walter Ogrod … to an outside hospital that is equipped to provide him with proper testing, care and treatment, including but not limited to testing for COVID-19.”