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April 27, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG





Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 73 (up from 63) Currently positive-testing staff: 172 (up from 153) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 52,517 (down from 52,544) Recovered staff: 12,573 (up from 12,567)


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

Victorville Medium II FCI: 8 (up from 5)

Rochester FMC: 7 (down from 8)

Oklahoma City FTC: 5 (unchanged)

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

Central Office HQ: 37 (up from 36)

Rochester FMC: 15

Victorville Medium I FCI: 13 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 137,381 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,278 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,757 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,405 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 314,082 (up from 313,756)


Case Note: District court's "narrow reliance" on USSG § 1B1.13 and failure to clearly state reasons for its decision denying compassionate release, require that order denying compassionate release be vacated and matter be remanded...


In U.S. v. Graham, No. 21-6613, 2022 WL 1172169 (4th Cir. Apr. 20, 2022) (unpublished) (per curium), the Fourth Circuit found that the district court’s narrow reliance on USSG § 1B1.13, and its failure to address defendant’s arguments regarding the 3553(a) factors, require remand, explaining: "In denying Graham's motion for compassionate release, the district court concluded that Graham failed to show extraordinary and compelling reasons for release pursuant to U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 1B1.13, p.s. (2018). To be sure, USSG § 1B1.13, p.s., which applies to compassionate release motions filed by the BOP, “ ‘remains helpful guidance even when motions are filed by defendants.’ ” High, 997 F.3d at 186 (quoting McCoy, 981 F.3d at 282 n.7). However, because district courts are presently “empowered to consider any extraordinary and compelling reason for release that a defendant might raise,” McCoy, 981 F.3d at 284 (cleaned up), we conclude that the district court's narrow reliance on USSG § 1B1.13, p.s., improperly restricted its assessment of whether Graham's arguments presented extraordinary and compelling reasons. The district court also found that a balance of the § 3553(a) factors did not warrant granting relief. While there is no “categorical ... requirement” that a district court explicitly address each of the defendant's arguments in support of his compassionate release motion, a court must nonetheless sufficiently explain the reasons for its decision in light of the circumstances of the particular case. High, 997 F.3d at 187-90 (internal quotation marks omitted). At bottom, the district court's explanation must “satisfy [this] court that it has considered the parties’ arguments and has a reasoned basis for exercising its own legal decisionmaking authority, so as to allow for meaningful appellate review.” Id. at 190 (cleaned up).Here, although the district court addressed Graham's concerns regarding contracting COVID-19, the court failed to consider Graham's other arguments, including the poor prison conditions in which he lived, his relative youth when he was first incarcerated, his various rehabilitative efforts in prison, his family and community support, the alleged sentencing disparity between him and his codefendants, and his having had only one minor nonviolent infraction in prison. Indeed, in discussing the § 3553(a) factors, the district court failed to mention any postsentencing conduct. Instead, the district court discussed Graham's offense conduct and criminal history and the § 3553(a) factors that the court had emphasized during Graham's 2014 sentencing. We are therefore unable to conclude that the district court “considered” Graham's arguments in favor of compassionate release and had “a reasoned basis for” its decision to deny relief. Id. (cleaned up). Accordingly, we vacate the district court's order and remand for further proceedings.”




Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified one new inmate fatality, increasing the total to 294. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7



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