By Keri Blakinger, The Marshall Project, January 19, 2021
When his father died last year of an overdose*,* Rodney Watson thought he would miss the funeral and his last chance to say goodbye—not because of the pandemic, but because he was in jail. Watson, 36, was awaiting trial in Houston after shooting and wounding his brother during a fight, an act he swears was unintentional.
In the past, Watson’s incarceration could have forced him to miss the elegant church funeral with the white roses and the military burial where they played Smokey Robinson. He wouldn’t have heard his family tell him they loved him and it would be all right.
But under a new practice adopted by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, he was able to watch it all in November on a Zoom video call from inside the jail.