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PUT MICH. PRISONERS IN TIER 1 FOR COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION NOW. THE DEATH PENALTY IS OUTLAWED BY THE STATE CONSTITUTION. The COVID-19 Pandemic is raging through Michigan prisons, with individual Michigan Department of Corrections facilities having 77 percent or more active cases among the total population, according to MDOC figures. Over 104 prisoners have died since the beginning of the pandemic. That number continues to rise. The MDOC ranks among the 5 worst states in the U.S. for prisoner COVID infections and deaths. But Michigan has not specifically prioritized its prisoner population for vaccine distribution, as have 28 other states. The American Medical Association, the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, and numerous other experts and prisoner advocacy groups say that prisoners should be placed in the top tier of vaccine recipients along with occupants of other facilities with captive, concentrated populations, like nursing homes, for their health and that of the public. "Allocating precious medical resources to people who are serving time may be anathema to much of the public, but elected officials must show some backbone by protecting this highly vulnerable population — for both moral and health reasons."--OpEd on NBC News.