Here are 10 reasons you should take this proclamation with a tablespoon of salt:
1) Layoffs continue. The Labor Department also revealed Thursday that 1.4 million people filed unemployment claims for the first time last week, the 15th straight week of more than a million new people seeking jobless benefits.
2) New cases are surging. The United States reported 52,789 fresh infections of the coronavirus on Wednesday, the highest total since the start of the pandemic.
3) People who got rehired are losing work again as states reimpose restrictions. Last month’s hiring gains came mainly from leisure and hospitality; 2.1 million of the 4.8 million new jobs reported were in those two industries. The food service industry payrolls grew by 1.5 million people. Unfortunately, these are the industries that are again shedding jobs as they are forced to scale back reopening plans because of the spikes, especially in the Sun Belt.
For example, American Airlines has just warned that it has about 8,000 too many flight attendants because people are not traveling. The carrier plans on paring down its flight staff to the bare minimum required by the FAA. And McDonald’s just announced that it will pause plans to bring back dine-in service.
4) This data is already dated. “The monthly jobs report is based on a survey taken during one week of the month in question — in this case, the week ending June 12, before the rising number of coronavirus infections reached their current level,” Eli Rosenberg, Heather Long and Jeff Stein report. “There is no precedent for the government to try and tabulate unemployment figures that are this high and move around this much.”
On June 12, the average number of new coronavirus cases was 20,594, Philip Bump notes. On June 16, Vice President Pence prematurely boasted in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that there was no new wave of the virus: “Cases have stabilized over the past two weeks, with the daily average case rate across the U.S. dropping to 20,000—down from 30,000 in April and 25,000 in May.”
5) Misclassification errors persist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the true unemployment rate is probably closer to 12.1 percent, 1 percent higher than the official rate. This is because a lot of people surveyed don’t correctly identify whether they were laid off or just furloughed. Last month, the government said the real unemployment rate was probably closer to 16.3 percent than the 13.3 percent rate that got announced as a result of misclassification. The BLS is working to fix this.
6) Wages face downward pressure. At least 4 million private-sector workers have had their pay cut during the pandemic, twice as many as the number who saw their wages reduced during the Great Recession. Companies are also cutting hours for employees who have kept their jobs. A previous Labor Department report showed that more than 6 million people have been forced to work part time amid the contagion who want to be working full time. This will probably mean a slower recovery.
7) Uncertainty will make people more likely to save their money than spend it. This could be another blow to the hospitality industry. Consumer confidence remains low.
8) Congress appears nowhere close to a deal on the fourth phase of relief. Expanded unemployment benefits run out later in July, and there is growing resistance on the right to extending them, which could put a damper on the recovery. The good jobs report will take away some of the sense of urgency for both sides to compromise, as Republicans demand liability protections for businesses that Democrats say are a non-starter. Senate Republicans said they will not even start negotiating a new package until Congress returns in mid-July from a two-week recess.
9) States and localities will probably need to lay off more workers because of budget shortfalls. “Thanks to covid-19, their tax revenue has plummeted and their expenses have gone up,” Catherine Rampell notes. “Lucy Dadayan of the Tax Policy Center estimates that the pandemic will reduce state revenue alone by $200 billion over fiscal 2020 and 2021. Governors (and mayors and other local officials) have pleaded for federal help. Unlike most states and municipalities, after all, the feds don’t have to worry about balanced budgets. … Already, states and localities have laid off about 1.5 million employees since the pandemic began. Unless federal aid comes through soon, expect huge new public-sector layoffs and service cuts in the months ahead, followed by knock-on job losses in the private sector.”
10) The Federal Reserve has fewer tools left in its toolbox if the economy backslides. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said lawmakers will need to do more to carry millions of Americans out of this crisis. Minutes released yesterday from a June 9-10 meeting of the board of governors showed concern at the central bank about additional waves of infections disrupting a recovery and triggering a new spike in unemployment and a worse economic downturn.
“Powell and other Fed officials stop short of outlining exactly what they think lawmakers should do in a new stimulus package or other legislation. But the meeting minutes underscore what the central bank’s leaders have said in public, which is that the Fed’s tools can do only so much,” Rachel Siegel reports. “The Fed has propped up many emergency programs to support the markets and extend loans to municipalities and small and midsize businesses. But the central bank has authority only to lend — not spend. Testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, Powell said that for many companies and industries desperate for help, ‘more debt may not be the answer here.’ Among the risks noted by Fed officials at the June meeting: ‘Fiscal support for households, businesses, and state and local governments might prove to be insufficient.’”
Programming note: The Daily 202 will not publish on Friday in observance of Independence Day. I will be on vacation for the next two weeks, but the newsletter will be in the able hands of my colleagues.
The latest on the coronavirus
Confirmed cases rose by nearly 50 percent last month, led by states that reopened first.
“More than 800,000 new cases were reported across the country last month, led by Florida, Arizona, Texas and California — bringing the nation’s officially reported total to just over 2.6 million,” Anne Gearan, Derek Hawkins and Siobhán O’Grady report. “States that took an aggressive approach to reopening led the country in infection spikes — along with California, the nation’s most populous state, where leaders have been more cautious. California on Wednesday reported 110 new deaths, more than any other state. … Record-shattering numbers of new cases were reported Wednesday in six states — California, Georgia, Texas, Alaska, North Carolina and Arizona. …
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), amid the recent spike in cases and hospitalizations after early success against the virus, on Wednesday ordered 19 counties to shut down all indoor services and activities before the holiday weekend, meaning that bars, restaurants and other businesses will remain open only outside. … Pennsylvania ordered protective masks to be worn in public, and New York City delayed the planned loosening of restrictions on indoor dining. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ordered the end of indoor service at bars through most of the state’s lower region.” Visiting Arizona, Pence said the federal government will meet Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s request to send 500 emergency medical workers to help the state’s overburdened health system.
Houston hospitals are overwhelmed.
“At Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital on Sunday, the medical staff ran out of both space for new coronavirus patients and a key drug needed to treat them. With no open beds at the public hospital, a dozen covid-19 patients who were in need of intensive care were stuck in the emergency room, awaiting transfers to other Houston area hospitals, according to a note sent to the staff,” ProPublica reports. “‘To tell you the truth, what worries me is not this week, where we’re still kind of handling it,’ said Roberta Schwartz, Houston Methodist’s chief innovation officer, who’s been helping lead the system’s efforts to expand beds for covid-19 patents. ‘I’m really worried about next week.’” ICUs in Houston were at 102 percent capacity on Tuesday, with many lining up to get care.
- Government documents show the country faces a demand for 160 million N95 masks this month, but the supply is only 130 million. (Donna Cassata)
- The surge in the Lone Star State doesn’t appear to be stopping Vanilla Ice from throwing a Fourth of July weekend concert in Austin, where all the bars are closed. The concert can happen at the venue, which is technically a restaurant and sold 2,500 tickets, because of a legal loophole. (Entertainment Weekly)
- At least five members of the First Baptist Dallas choir and orchestra tested positive for the virus before Pence visited their church last weekend. None were at the church during the vice president’s visit, but it’s unclear how many of the musicians who performed for him may have been exposed. (BuzzFeed News)
- Students at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa threw parties as part of a contest to see who could catch the virus first. “They put money in a pot and they try to get covid. Whoever gets covid first gets the pot,” said City Council member Sonya McKinstry. Alabama has recorded 38,442 cases, an increase of more than 10,500 in the past two weeks. (ABC News)
- This doesn’t bode well for schools reopening: More than 40 Bay Area school principals were placed in quarantine after being exposed to the virus during an in-person meeting held by the Santa Clara Unified School District to discuss reopening. (San Francisco Chronicle)
- On June 17, a crowd of up to 100 people, most of them 20-somethings, gathered for a party at a home in Rockland County, N.Y., in violation of the state’s regulations. The party’s host tested positive, as well as eight guests. Officials, in an attempt to keep the cluster from growing, dispatched contact tracers. But the guests would not talk. So county officials have issued subpoenas to the eight infected people. If they don’t comply, they face fines of $2,000 per day. (NYT)
- D.C. socialite Ashley Taylor Bronczek threw a backyard party for a couple dozen friends on June 18 after co-hosting a virtual fundraiser for the Washington Ballet. Then she tested positive for the virus but held off on telling people, angering others in the neighborhood. (Roxanne Roberts)
- Major League Baseball players are returning to training camps as the league braces for more positive tests. (Dave Sheinin)
Lines for testing often stretch for miles in the summer heat.
“Supply-chain issues that hampered testing from the beginning of the pandemic have improved but not ended, even as many states opened sites that require no appointment or referral. Reagents — substances used to carry out tests — and pipettes remain in short supply in many places, and the machines that run the tests are expensive and time-consuming to build,” Rachel Weiner reports. “There are also limits on collection sites, exacerbated by rising summer temperatures. Staff at testing sites, standing outside in full-body protective gear, must rotate more often to avoid heat-related health problems. Some testing sites have been temporarily or permanently closed because of extreme heat.”
Drug overdoses are soaring.
“The bodies have been arriving at Anahi Ortiz’s office in frantic spurts — as many as nine overdose deaths in 36 hours. ‘We’ve literally run out of wheeled carts to put them on,’ said Ortiz, a coroner in Columbus, Ohio. In Roanoke County, Va., police have responded to twice as many fatal overdoses in recent months as in all of last year. In Kentucky, which just celebrated its first decline in overdose deaths after five years of crisis, many towns are experiencing an abrupt reversal in the numbers. Nationwide, federal and local officials are reporting alarming spikes in drug overdoses — a hidden epidemic within the coronavirus pandemic. Emerging evidence suggests that the continued isolation, economic devastation and disruptions to the drug trade in recent months are fueling the surge,” William Wan and Heather Long report.
“Data obtained by The Post from a real-time tracker of drug-related emergency calls and interviews with coroners suggest that overdoses have not just increased since the pandemic began but are accelerating as it persists. Suspected overdoses nationally — not all of them fatal — jumped 18 percent in March compared with last year, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May. … Making matters worse, many treatment centers, drug courts and recovery programs have been forced to close or significantly scale back during shutdowns. With plunging revenue for services and little financial relief from the government, some now teeter on the brink of financial collapse. … Trump and conservatives have repeatedly cited the possible rise of overdoses and suicides when calling for states and businesses to hurry their economic reopening. Yet, of the nearly $2.5 trillion approved for emergency relief, Congress and the Trump administration have designated only $425 million — barely more than a hundredth of 1 percent — for mental health and substance use treatment.”
Autopsies of coronavirus victims are helping us understand what could be done to help the living.
“Among the most important findings, consistent across several studies, is confirmation the virus appears to attack the lungs the most ferociously. They also found the pathogen in parts of the brain, kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract and spleen and in the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, as some had previously suspected. Researchers also found widespread clotting in many organs,” Ariana Eunjung Cha reports. “When it comes to the heart, many physicians warned for months about a cardiac complication they suspected was myocarditis, an inflammation or hardening of the heart muscle walls — but autopsy investigators were stunned that they could find no evidence of the condition. Another unexpected finding, pathologists said, is that oxygen deprivation of the brain and the formation of blood clots may start early in the disease process. … A new modeling study has estimated that about 22 percent of the population — or 1.7 billion people worldwide, including 72 million in the United States — may be vulnerable to severe illness if infected with the virus.”
Pfizer reported some encouraging early vaccine data.
“An experimental coronavirus vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the German firm BioNTech triggered stronger immune responses in recipients than those seen in people naturally recovering from an infection in a small study published online,” Carolyn Johnson reports. “The work has not yet been peer-reviewed, and it is still unclear what level of immune response will protect a person from getting sick. But outside scientists praised the company for publishing the data on 45 people, and said the results support moving to a larger clinical trial to test whether the vaccine is safe and effective. … Although scientists still do not know what level of antibody protects people against the virus, the levels found in people who have recovered from the illness are seen as a benchmark for some level of likely immunity.”
“The Trump administration is weakening taxpayer safeguards in its agreements with companies working on coronavirus drugs, which could prevent regulators from curbing prices for future vaccines and treatment,” Christopher Rowland reports. The Trump people are “employing a looser standard of federal contracting — called ‘other transaction authority’ — that avoids some contracting rules that protect taxpayer investments, said Knowledge Ecology International, a consumer advocacy organization that obtained copies of government agreements with industry under a Freedom of Information Act request. ‘The amount of money the government is throwing at companies is unprecedented,’ said James Love, KEI’s director. ‘Normally when you write bigger checks, you should have more leverage, not less leverage.’"
Maryland’s Six Flags is reopening.
“Under Phase 3 of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s plan for reviving the pandemic-stifled economy, groups of as many as 250 people are allowed to gather. Restaurants and other nonessential businesses can operate at full capacity with physical distancing measures in place while swimming pools and gyms can function at 75 percent capacity with restrictions in place,” Antonio Olivo, Emily Davies, Dan Rosenzweig-Ziff and Dana Hedgpeth report. “But with the state’s seven-day averages for new coronavirus infections and covid-19 deaths higher than a week ago, some businesses were wary of opening too much, too soon.”
Fourth of July celebrations on the Mall will feature flyovers, fireworks and masks. Visitors will be able to pick up one of 300,000 cloth face coverings, and they’ll be urged to stay six feet away from anyone who’s not a family member. (Michael Ruane and Julie Zauzmer)
More on the Trump presidency
Trump is forging ahead with his dangerous fireworks show at Mount Rushmore.
Social distancing won’t be enforced. Masks won’t be required. “A decade after being banned amid concerns about wildfires and groundwater pollution, and despite protests by Native Americans and recommendations from public health officials to avoid public gatherings, fireworks will once again be exploding over Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of western South Dakota on Friday,” NPR reports. “About 7,500 other spectators will be there too, the winners of an online ticket lottery sponsored by South Dakota’s state tourism department.”
“I was in charge of Mt. Rushmore. Trump’s plan for fireworks there is a terrible idea,” writes Cheryl Schreier, who served as the monument’s superintendent for nine years. “Trump and [South Dakota Gov. Kristi] Noem (R) are actively encouraging people to gather together, all in service of an event which poses clear risks to both visitors and the environment. I urge them to reconsider this event for the health and safety of us all.”
Trump continues falsely insisting the contagion will eventually go away on its own, but during an interview on Fox Business that aired last night, he also expressed more willingness to wear a mask than he has in the past. Trump said he even tried on a mask in private and liked how he looked in the mirror. “Looked like the Lone Ranger,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is still reeling from the fallout of his Tulsa rally. “Campaign aides had hoped the rally would be a needed return to normal — urged on by the president who wanted to go back on the trail, both for his own political fortunes and to signal that the country was on the rebound,” Josh Dawsey and Carol Leonnig report. “But some advisers now see the rally as ill-advised, an event that created a cascade of problems that have challenged the campaign and its staff. Campaign officials had previously said they were planning more large rallies, but the Tulsa event has led to increased concerns and debates on how — and whether — they can be pulled off. …
“The Los Angeles company that managed the BOK Center acknowledged that the gathering created substantial risks. … The campaign had agreed to test its staff before the event, and a tent was set up at the site, staffed by health-care workers with equipment. … Then some people began testing positive. … The situation made the health-care workers uncomfortable, the people said, and some said they thought that people who needed to be tested were not. … Tulsa County saw record-setting spikes of coronavirus cases in the days after the Trump rally — with the discovery of roughly 200 to 250 new cases each day.”
Joe Biden and the DNC raised $10 million more than Trump and the RNC last month.
“The Biden campaign, along with the party committee and affiliated committees, raised $141 million in June, its biggest month by far,” Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Annie Linskey report. “In comparison, the Trump 2020 reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee and affiliated committees raised $131 million, the RNC said Wednesday — also a striking amount. That means Biden outraised Trump for the second month in a row.”
- Trump is scheduled to headline a $580,600-per-couple fundraiser next week at a private home in Florida, which has become a coronavirus hot spot. (Josh Dawsey and Lee)
- HHS Secretary Alex Azar is mostly traveling to states Trump needs to win for reelection. (Politico)
- Hundreds of George W. Bush administration alumni plan to endorse Biden. The officials include Cabinet secretaries and other senior Bush administration staffers. They’ve formed a PAC, three organizers of the group told Reuters.
- A New York court lifted a temporary restraining order blocking the publication of Mary L. Trump’s tell-all book, enabling publisher Simon & Schuster to continue printing and distributing her insider account of the family. (Michael Kranish)
- House Republican leaders are throwing their weight behind Lauren Boebert, the GOP nominee open to QAnon. Boebert defeated five-term Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Colo.). She’s the ninth candidate to win the GOP nomination for a congressional seat who is either a full supporter of the QAnon movement or who has voiced support for some of its tenets, none of which have any foundation in reality. (Paul Kane and Colby Itkowitz)
- In an op-ed for today’s paper, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale argues Trump is dominating Biden on the “most important factor in this campaign”: enthusiasm.
Trump has no plans for a response after intelligence reports of Russian bounties on U.S. troops.
“The White House is not planning an immediate response to intelligence reports of Russian bounties given to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan because Trump does not believe the reports are true or ‘actionable,’ according to two senior administration officials,” Ellen Nakashima, Josh Dawsey, Karen DeYoung and Shane Harris report. “Some of Trump’s own senior intelligence officials viewed the information as credible enough to warn the Pentagon and allies so they could ensure they had measures in place to protect their forces in Afghanistan, and to begin developing options for responding to the Russian operation, national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien said Wednesday. And though the administration has sought to downplay the veracity of the intelligence, O’Brien said the CIA has asked the Justice Department to open a leak investigation on the matter. The officials cautioned that Trump’s posture could change as pressure mounts from Congress to respond to the reports of Russian bounties, as intelligence analysts suspect the deaths of three Marines in Afghanistan in 2019 may have resulted from the Russian operation.”
An Afghan contractor literally handed out Russian cash to kill Americans, officials said.
“He was a lowly drug smuggler, neighbors and relatives say, then ventured into contracting, seeking a slice of the billions of dollars the U.S.-led coalition was funneling into construction projects in Afghanistan. But he really began to show off his wealth in recent years, after establishing a base in Russia, though how he earned those riches remained mysterious,” the New York Times reports. “Now Rahmatullah Azizi stands as a central piece of a puzzle rocking Washington, named in American intelligence reports and confirmed by Afghan officials as a key middleman who for years handed out money from a Russian military intelligence unit to reward Taliban-linked fighters for targeting American troops in Afghanistan, according to American and Afghan officials. As security agencies connected the dots of the bounty scheme and narrowed in on him, they carried out sweeping raids to arrest dozens of his relatives and associates about six months ago, but discovered that Mr. Azizi had sneaked out of Afghanistan and was likely back in Russia. What they did find in one of his homes, in Kabul, was about half a million dollars in cash.”
Quote of the day
“You gotta play the hand you’re dealt. But yeah, we’ve been getting some bad cards lately,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told Politico for a story on how the GOP cannot seem to catch a break.
Congress won’t get to see the full Mueller report before the election.
“The Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to House Democrats’ efforts to have access to secret grand jury material from Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying it would decide next term whether Congress is authorized to see the material,” Robert Barnes reports. “The decision to hear the case next fall means the House Judiciary Committee cannot have access to the material before the election. A lower court ruled this spring that the committee was entitled to see the previously withheld material from Mueller’s probe.”
The platoon Clint Lorance led for three days has faced years of tragedy.
“Lorance had been in command of 1st Platoon for only three days in Afghanistan but in that short span of time had averaged a war crime a day, a military jury found. On his last day before he was dismissed, he ordered his troops to open fire on three Afghan men standing by a motorcycle on the side of the road who he said posed a threat. His actions led to a 19-year prison sentence. He had served six years when Trump, spurred to action by relentless Fox News coverage and Lorance’s insistence that he had made a split-second decision to protect his men, set him free,” Greg Jaffe writes in an in-depth report on the platoon’s troubled history.
The unit has been plagued by suicides, suicide attempts, hospitalizations, depression, cancer, car crashes, alcoholism and early deaths since its return from Afghanistan. “The president’s opponents described the pardon as another instance of Trump subverting the rule of law to reward allies and reap political benefits. Military officials worried that the decision to overturn a case that had already been adjudicated in the military courts sent a signal that war crimes were not worthy of severe punishment. For the men of 1st Platoon, part of the 82nd Airborne Division, the costs of the war and the fallout from the case have been profound and sometimes deadly. Traumatized by battle, they have also been brutalized by the politicization of their service and made to feel as if the truth of what they lived in Afghanistan — already a violent and harrowing tour before Lorance assumed command — had been so demeaned that it no longer existed.”
America’s racial reckoning
Richmond’s statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson came down.
“Hundreds gathered to watch crews dismantle the statue, one of five honoring Confederate icons on Monument Avenue in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy,” Laura Vozzella and Gregory Schneider report. “Onlookers cheered, and bells rang out from the nearby First Baptist Church. One supporter of the monuments cried. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D), bucking advice from the city attorney and relying on emergency powers, dispatched a crew to take down the statue after the City Council delayed a vote on removing it along with three others owned by the city along the avenue. … Stoney compared the moment to the end of the Cold War. ‘The Berlin Wall fell, but also the system fell with it,’ the 39-year-old mayor said. In early June, Richmond protesters toppled a figure of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, though the bulk of his enormous, columned monument remains. …
“A state law that took effect Wednesday allows cities and counties to act on their own to remove Confederate memorials. In addition to Jackson and Davis, the other two city-owned statues on the avenue honor Confederate figures J.E.B. Stuart and Matthew Fontaine Maury. The mayor’s spokesman, Jim Nolan, said those statues, and the rest of the Davis memorial, will come down next. … The Republican Party of Virginia called ‘Stoney’s stunt’ illegal. … ‘Richmond is no longer run by the rule of law — it has devolved into anarchy,’ GOP Chairman Jack Wilson said. … Monument Avenue is also home to the state-owned statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E Lee that Northam has ordered removed. That decision is being challenged in court.” Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky emails: “Make no mistake — Robert E. Lee is next.”
- The U.S. warship afloat from the Pearl Harbor attack and named after Roger Taney, the Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision, will be renamed. (WSJ)
- A whipping post was removed from outside a Delaware courthouse. “The post had been used to bind and whip people for crimes up until 1952, with African Americans being punished disproportionately,” 6ABC reports.
- Republican senators are debating whether to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth on the list of federal holidays. A bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) proposed making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) doesn’t want to add another paid holiday, but he said he’s willing to trade. (The Hill)
- Trump says painting “Black Lives Matter” on New York’s Fifth Avenue would be a “symbol of hate.” The painting, Trump said, would “wind up ‘denigrating’ the street outside Trump Tower, as he ratcheted up objections to a plan that he suggested the city’s police could stop,” John Wagner and Colby Itkowitz report.
- D.C. officials and their Democratic allies on Capitol Hill said Daniel Snyder will be able to build a new Redskins stadium on the site where RFK Stadium is now only if he changes the team’s name. (Liz Clarke)
- The Trump effect: “Thirty-four percent of Americans, up from 27 percent a year ago, would prefer to see immigration to the U.S. increased,” a Gallup poll found. This is the highest support for expanding immigration Gallup has found in its trend since 1965.
Social media speed read
The campaign bus of former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, who is battling Jeff Sessions in a Republican runoff to face Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), caught on fire:
Mitch McConnell’s Democratic challenger questioned how much he knew about the Russian bounty reports:
South Carolina’s governor pushed for masks in order to bring football back:
Videos of the day
The Trump campaign manipulated a video to suggest Democrats support violent protests:
Basketball star Maya Moore spent the past year helping overturn the wrongful conviction of Jonathan Irons, 40, who was serving a 50-year sentence on charges of burglary and assault for a crime that took place when he was 16: