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April 20, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG





Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 56 (up from 53) Currently positive-testing staff: 151 (up from 150) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 52,765 (down from 52,820) Recovered staff: 12,558 (up from 12,557)


Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Rochester FMC: 16 (unchanged)

Oklahoma City FTC: 4

Victorville Medium II FCI: 4 (down from 5)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

Central Office HQ: 33 (up from 32)

Victorville Medium I FCI: 13 (unchanged )

Victorville USP: 13 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 136,807 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,266 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,769 (up from 128,768) Positive tests: 55,417 (up from 55,416)


Total vaccine doses administered: 312,799 (up from 312,610)


Case Note:


In COURTNEY FLOYD GREGORY, Petitioner, v. U.S. Respondent. No. 4:96-CR-22(01), 2022 WL 1144131 (E.D. Va. Apr. 18, 2022) (Jackson, J.), the court, after engaging in a lengthy analysis as to why the petitioner, serving life, is eligible for a reduction under FSA 404, the court turned to CR and found exhaustion futile because the BOP doesn’t recognize non-retroactive changes, the same changes which the court found merited a reduction, explaining: "The Government contends Petitioner has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. …Although Petitioner did not need to exhaust his administrative remedies, as the Government contends, he was required to file a request with the BOP before bringing a motion before this Court, which he did not. See Resp't's Mem. Opp'n at Ex. 2. Rather, Petitioner filed the instant Motion with the Court on May 24, 2021, and did not file a request for compassionate release with the BOP until November 16, 2021. … Petitioner argues the Court should waive the threshold requirement because his request to the BOP implicates three exceptions. Pet'r's Mem. Supp. at 12. The threshold requirement – also known as the “exhaustion requirement” – “may be waived under the following circumstances: (1) the relief sought would be futile upon exhaustion; (2) exhaustion via the agency review process would result in inadequate relief; or (3) pursuit of agency review would subject the petitioner to undue prejudice.” … Petitioner requested compassionate release to the BOP on the basis that his sentence of life imprisonment is now unlawful after the FIRST STEP Act and the Fair Sentencing Act, which is consistent with his Motion before the Court. Pet'r's Mot. Suppl. at Ex. 1. The BOP has outlined the types of circumstances it considers when evaluating such requests. …Indeed, in denying Petitioner's request for relief, the BOP explicitly reasoned: “Your request does not meet any of those criteria so your request is denied. Sentencing procedures that you feel are in error must be submitted to the district court.” Pet'r's Second Mot. Suppl. at Ex. 1. The Court therefore finds that Petitioner's request for relief to the BOP would have been futile regardless of when he submitted it. Accordingly, the Court waives the threshold requirement. … In 1997, the Sentencing Guidelines were mandatory and required the Court to impose a life sentence. It is well-settled that the Guidelines are now advisory. See Booker, 543 U.S. at 226. Moreover, the amendments that the FIRST STEP Act made to 21 U.S.C. § 841 would constrain Petitioner's sentence to a maximum of 40 years' imprisonment. … Under the FIRST STEP Act, the definition of “serious drug felony” “incorporates certain controlled-substance offenses ... and then adds two requirements.” United States v. Skaggs, 23 F.4th 342, 343 (4th Cir. 2022). Namely, a “serious drug felony” is an offense described in 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2) for which “the offender served a term of imprisonment of more than 12 months; and the offender's release from any term of imprisonment was within 15 years of the commencement of the instant offense.” 21 U.S.C.A. § 802(57)(A)-(B) (2018) (West). Here, Petitioner was convicted of two state law offenses that qualify as 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2) offenses: possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. However, Petitioner only served one year for both offenses.Since Petitioner did not serve more than 12 months for these offenses, his prior convictions do not meet the requirement under21 U.S.C. § 802(57)(A), meaning they do not qualify as “serious drug offenses.” Thus, if sentenced today, Petitioner would face a statutory range of a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years' imprisonment. The Court therefore finds Petitioner's life sentence to be “disproportionate to both the seriousness of the offense and to what Congress now deems appropriate for this kind of conduct.”McCoy, 981 F.3d at 279(internal quotations omitted). The Court finds Petitioner has demonstrated “extraordinary and compelling reasons” to warrant a reduction in sentence.18U.S.C. §3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Accordingly, Petitioner's Reinstated Motion to Reduce Sentence Pursuant to the FIRST STEP Act is GRANTED.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no new inmate fatalities, leaving the total at 293. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7



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