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August 12, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 116 BOP facilities and 27 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 556 (up from 528) Currently positive-testing staff: 604 (up from 599) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 49,426 (down from 49,507) Recovered staff: 13,469 (up from 13,462)


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

La Tuna FCI: 53 (unchanged)

Allenwood Low FCI: 51 (unchanged)

Terminal Island FCI: 42

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

Central Headquarters: 53 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 25 (unchanged)

Houston FDC: 21 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 141,253 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,979 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,735 (up from 128,728) Positive tests: 55,383 (up from 55,376)


Total vaccine doses administered: 327,053 (unchanged)


Case Note:


In U.S. v. NORMAN SEABROOK, 2022 WL 3227907 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 10, 2022) (Hellerstein, J.), the court, in denying defendant's 2255 petition asserting his sentence is constitutionally disproportionate to his co-defendant ,whose sentence was vacated on appeal and remanded to a different judge that issued a lower sentence, the court instructed the defendant to challenge the disparity in a compassionate release, explaining:

ORDER DENYING PETITION UNDER 28 U.S.C. 2255 BUT SUGGESTING PROCEEDINGS FOR COMPASSIONATE SENTENCING REDUCTION

Seabrook, the former President of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association (“COBA”), was found by a jury to have accepted a bribe in 2014 to cause COBA to invest $20 million of pension funds, substantially the entirety of the pension fund, in a hedge fund, Platinum Partners LP. … Murray Huberfeld, a principal of Platinum Partners, promised to pay the bribe. Jona Rechnitz, a friend of politicians and of both Huberfeld and Seabrook, arranged the bribe. … Claiming disappointing 2014 results, Huberfeld paid $60,000 through a cash advance facilitated by Rechnitz. Huberfeld then had Platinum Partners repay Rechnitz, disguised on Platinum's books as a repayment for the procurement of court-side tickets for the New York Knicks. … Seabrook and Huberfeld were tried together, but the jury could not agree on a verdict. After re-assignment to me and before re-trial, the government extended a favorable plea deal to Huberfeld, allowing him to plead guilty, not to defrauding COBA of $19 million, but of defrauding his own company, Platinum Partners, of $60,000—the amount listed on Platinum's books as a payment for Knicks tickets, I accepted the plea after an extended allocation, during which Huberfeld admitted that the purpose of the fraud was to bribe Seabrook to gain a $20 million investment from COBA. I commented that COBA, not Platinum Partners, was the real intended victim, and advised Huberfeld, before accepting his plea, that his sentence might reflect the reality and consequence of his bribe. This left Seabrook as the only defendant in the second trial. … I sentenced Seabrook on February 8, 2019 to a Guidelines sentence of 58 months’ imprisonment. … I explained my sentence as reflecting an approximate equivalence between the bribe giver, Huberfeld, and the bribe taker, Seabrook, before Guidelines adjustment of five levels — three for Huberfeld's acceptance of responsibility by a timely plea, and two because of Seabrook's violation of his fiduciary duty to COBA. On February 12, 2019, I sentenced Huberfeld to 30 months to reflect that five-level differential, changing the Guidelines range, from 51–63 months to 30–37 months. Huberfeld's successful appeal changed the calculus. The Second Circuit held that Huberfeld's plea determined who was the victim and the amount of the loss, not COBA and a $19 million loss, but Platinum Partners and a $60,000 loss. See United States v. Seabrook, 968 F.3d 224 (2d Cir. 2020). In the re-sentencing ordered by the Court of Appeals, Huberfeld was sentenced to 13 months custody and $60,000 restitution to Platinum Partners. There are two issues. The first, raised in Seabrook's briefs, is whether the disproportionate sentencing differential between Seabrook and Huberfeld constitutes error warranting section 2255 relief. The second, which the parties have not briefed, is whether the differential is basis for Compassionate Relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(a). … The sentences of Huberfeld and Seabrook, as they stand now, are unjustly disproportionate. However, traditionally, a district court cannot modify a sentence once announced. See United States v. Brooker, 976 F.3d 228, 237–38 (2d Cir. 2020); United States v. Gotti, 433 F.Supp.3d 613, 614 (S.D.N.Y. 2020). The First Step Act, providing for compassionate release from custody, or reductions of sentences, is an exception. … My discussion of Seabrook's disproportionately high sentence would constitute adequate basis for a compassionate reduction of his sentence. But section 3582, and good sense, require the motion first to be made to the Bureau of Prisons, before a motion is filed with the district court. … Seabrook's motion for release pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 is denied. Seabrook may consider initiating a procedure for compassionate release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c).”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has announced no new COVID-related inmate deaths. COVID-related inmate deaths remain at 302. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7

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