NY Prisoners Suing for What?!

(DailyEmailNews.com) – In a baffling turn of events that no one saw coming, six prisoners from the Woodbourne Correctional Facility in upstate New York started a legal battle for a chance to witness the upcoming solar eclipse.

The inmates claim in the suit that a planned prison lockdown infringes upon their constitutional right to religious freedom.

Filed last week, their lawsuit includes plaintiffs from diverse religious backgrounds, including a Baptist, a Muslim, an atheist, a Seventh-Day Adventist and two followers of Santeria, all linked by the significance they put on the celestial event.

The legal complaint highlights the religious importance of solar eclipses, drawing from historical instances cited in both the Bible and Islamic texts where eclipses marked significant religious moments.

It also notes the relevance of such phenomena to various faiths, including atheism, where the marvel of nature can be appreciated without religious context.

Despite the eclipse’s broad spiritual resonance, the New York State Department of Corrections plans to cancel visitation in all 23 facilities located along the eclipse’s trajectory and enforce a lockdown from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the event, confining inmates to their rooms.

Although Woodbourne is not directly in the eclipse’s full shadow, acting commissioner Daniel Martuscello III has mandated a system-wide lockdown, limiting inmates’ movement.

One inmate had initially been granted permission to view the eclipse with protective glasses, but this was revoked following the announcement of the statewide lockdown.

While some inmates and staff with access to windows will be provided viewing glasses, others will not have the opportunity to step outside their cells for the event.

With the next total solar eclipse not anticipated until 2044, the plaintiffs argue for their right to witness this rare occurrence.

Representing the inmates, Attorney Maddy Byrd emphasizes the fundamental role of religious freedom in both constitutional and human values, underscoring the eclipse’s significance across multiple faiths.

This year’s eclipse, with its path of totality spanning significant portions of North America, is expected to have both widespread public interest and substantial economic impact, with millions living within or near the path set to experience the event.

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