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April 22, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG




Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 60 (up from 57) Currently positive-testing staff: 150 (unchanged) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 52,651 (down from 52,765) Recovered staff: 12,559 (unchanged)


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

Rochester FMC: 17 (up from 16)

Oklahoma City FTC: 4 (unchanged)

Victorville Medium II FCI: 4 (unchanged)

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

Central Office HQ: 33 (unchanged)

Victorville Medium I FCI: 13 (unchanged)

Victorville USP: 13 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 136,940 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,444 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,770 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,418 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 313,335 (up from 313,085)


Case Note: Another compassionate release grant -- this one coming after defendant served approximately 17 years of a 145-year (!) sentence -- grounded in the non-retroactivity of changes to § 924(c) stacking...


In U.S. v. JAMES LEE WATSON, 2022 WL 1125801 (N.D. Okla. Apr. 15, 2022) (Kern, J.), the court granted compassionate release, citing the non-retroactivity of FSA changes to 924(c) stacking and disparity with co-defendants that plead guilty warranted CR, explaining: "James Lee Watson (“Watson”) and two co-defendants committed a series of armed robberies and attempted armed robberies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during an eleven-day period in October 2004. … At trial, Watson's co-defendants testified about his participation in the crimes and a Tulsa police officer testified about Watson's capture immediately after one of the robberies. … This Court sentenced Watson to 1,734 months of imprisonment, (145 years, 3 months). … He has been detained since then and served approximately 209 months (17 years, 5 months) of his sentence. He has served his entire sentence on the Concurrent Counts and 59 of the 1,593 months on the Stacked 924(c) Counts. … The Government concedes that this Court may exercise its discretion to reduce Watson's sentence and asserts “this Court should limit any compassionate release reduction to the minimum 504-month term Watson would face if sentenced today.” (Doc. 313, p. 6). However, the Court is not bound by this limitation. … Further, the discrepancy between Watson's current sentence and the sentence he would be subject to if convicted today is not the only sentencing disparity in this case. Watson committed the six robberies with two co-defendants, Kenneth Antonio Butler and Nicole Cassares. The United States and Watson conducted plea negotiations prior to trial. Watson rejected an offer of 30 years imprisonment and elected to go to trial. Unlike Watson, both Butler and Cassares entered guilty pleas. Butler pled guilty to Counts Three and Five, both 924(c) charges.(Doc. 89). He received a sentence of 240 months; 84 months as to Count Three and 156 months as to Count Five. Id. Butler was released from BOP on October 26, 2021. Cassares plead guilty to one 924(c) Count and Aiding and Abetting .(Doc. 88). She received an 84 month sentence and was released from BOP on May 27, 2011. Watson's co-defendants, who were no less culpable, received far more lenient sentences and have been released. Ultimately, Watson received 125 years and three months more imprisonment than Butler and 138 years and three months more imprisonment than Cassares. … Considering Watson's lengthy sentence and serious health conditions, combined with his significant efforts at rehabilitation, the Court finds extraordinary and compelling circumstances which form the basis for relief. Therefore, the Court finds that a reduction under § 3582(c)(1)(A) to a sentence of time served is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to comply with the sentencing purposes set forth in § 3553(a).”



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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