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August 4, 2021: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Quick Facts: Currently positive-testing inmates: 260 (down from 308) Currently positive-testing staff: 187 (up from 173) Recovered inmates: 43,012 (down from 43,041) Recovered staff: 7,038 (up from 7,026) Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Texarcana FCI: 76 (unchanged)

Miami FDC: 27

Terminal Island FCI: 19

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

Pollock: 17 (up from 14)

Coleman Low FCI: 10 (unchanged)

Coleman I USP: 9

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 130,531 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,336 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 118,732 (up from 118,755) Positive tests: 42,722 (down from 42,800)

Total Vaccine doses distributed: 206,327

Case Note: Mob hitman's life sentence reduced to 30 years...


In U.S. v. MARTIN LEWIS, 2021 WL 3292180 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 2, 2021) (Rakoff, J.), the court reduces a mob hitman’s life sentence to 30 years in part because conditions of confinement during COVID and in Oregon wildfires exacerbates his breathing difficulties, constituting a debilitating medical condition under 1B1.13; he has been a model prisoner; and others equally or more blameworthy were not as severely punished:, explaining "Defendant Martin Lewis began working as a bus driver for Manti's Transportation in 1991. See Def. Mot., ECF 820, Ex. A (“PSR”) at 20, ¶ 105. Manti's Transportation was taken over by an organized crime family, the Decavalcante Crime Family, after Manti's owner defaulted on a loan from that Family. Def. Mot. 4. In January 1998, members of the Decavalcante Crime Family offered Lewis $10,000 and a construction job to murder fellow crime family member Joseph Conigliaro, whom they suspected of skimming proceeds. See PSR at 24. Lewis shot and killed Conigliaro. Id. Lewis was sentenced to mandatory life in prison for one count each of conspiracy to murder in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, and use of firearm in connection with a crime of violence. See PSR at 1. Lewis has spent nearly 20 years in prison. Def. Mot. 1. Lewis is incarcerated at FCI Sheridan in Oregon, where his record reflects no disciplinary infractions and extensive coursework completion. See Def. Ex. C. Lewis, who is 66 years old, suffers from asthma and acute bronchitis. … Lewis's advanced age and health conditions demonstrate an extraordinary and compelling reason for a sentence reduction. Specifically, Lewis is over 65 years old and suffers from chronic asthma and bronchitis, which increases his risk of suffering severe illness from COVID-19. While the Government discounts the impact of Lewis's age and illnesses, both are highly relevant. … Lewis's respiratory conditions date back to at least May 2014. Years of dust exposure in a poorly ventilated prison woodworking shop, a history of smoking, and ongoing Oregon wildfires have exacerbated his ailments. Def. Mot. 8, 19; Def. Reply 5. While incarcerated, “Mr. Lewis has found it constantly difficult to breathe.” Def. Mot. 10. Because Lewis suffers from a debilitating medical condition exacerbated by his advancing age, the Court finds that there are extraordinary and compelling reasons for a sentence reduction in this case. … Lewis has already served 20 years in prison, more than any of his codefendants, and he argues that a sentence of time served would satisfy the Section 3553(a) factors. … Although Lewis committed a horrific crime, he was not the leader of the charged conspiracy. Lewis was neither the head of the crime family, nor the acting boss who authorized the shooting, nor the crewmember who planned the murder, nor the conspirator who provided the gun. But Lewis has received one of the longest sentences. The head of the Decavalcante crime family has been free since 2012, the acting boss since 2013. DiTorra served six years in prison. Id. Americo Massa, who hired Lewis, will be released in six years. Id. The pronounced disparities in this case favor a sentence reduction. … Third, the Court considers the defendant's background. Lewis has offered context for his involvement in Conigliaro's murder and argues that these factors related to the crime warrant a sentence reduction. … Lewis feared that Child Protective Services would remove his children from his care. Id. at 6. When DiTorra and his crewmember Americo Massa offered Lewis $10,000 and a construction company job to murder Conigliaro, Lewis agreed against his better judgment. … Finally, the Court considers evidence of Lewis's rehabilitation. Lewis has been a model prisoner. He has no disciplinary record. See Def. Ex. C. He has devoted himself to his Catholic faith and led Bible studies while incarcerated. See id. at 10, 22. He has taken a multitude of available courses and become a passionate woodworker. Id. at 10. He has strengthened his remaining family ties, speaking to his youngest daughter Natalia almost daily. … Upon considering Lewis's background, his negligible criminal history, the similarity of his offense conduct to that of his co-defendants, and the evidence of rehabilitation, the Court finds that a sentence of substantially less than a lifetime would satisfy the purposes of criminal sentencing articulated in § 3553(a). However, given that Lewis committed a vicious crime, the Court finds that immediate release would contravene the sentencing factors articulated in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). The Court concludes that a sentence of 30 years is sufficient to comply with the purposes of sentencing articulated in § 3553(a).”)

Death Watch: The BOP has identified the second of two recent inmate fatalities as Derrick Nicholson, 53, of FCI Texarkana. Inmate fatalities remain at 242. Five of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff fatalities remain at 4.






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