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BOP COVID-19 UPDATE -- February 25, 2021

Currently positive-testing inmates: 1,449 (down from 1,519)

Currently positive-testing staff: 1,624 (down from 1,661)

Recovered inmates: 46,184 (up from 46,175)

Recovered staff: 4,862 (up from 4,801)

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

Schuylkill FCI: 267 (up from 266)

Florence High USP: 225 (up from 209)

Fort Dix FCI: 191 (down from 192)

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

Pollock USP: 83 (unchanged)

Tucson USP: 69 (unchanged)

Talladega FCI: 46

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 124,182 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,654 in community-based facilities. Today's stats:

Completed tests: 105,167 (up from 104,923) Positive tests: 46,791 (up from 46,850)

Case Note: Looking behind the offense and focusing on defendant's offense conduct results in release...

In U.S. v. EMILIANO VASQUEZ, 2021 WL 681174 (E.D.N.Y. Feb. 22, 2021) (Dearie, J.), the Court emphasized that the defendant’s moral culpability, not simply the heinous crime of conviction, matter: "Mr. Vasquez is a 65-year-old inmate who is confronting a series of life-threatening illnesses as confirmed by the Bureau of Prisons. … Mr. Vasquez is currently incarcerated at Federal Medical Center Devens (“FMC Devens”), where he is serving a 22-year term of imprisonment[.] … His convictions stem from his participation in an armed robbery gang that primarily targeted drug dealers from 1999 to 2008. Mr. Vasquez, a cab driver, acted as an occasional tipster, lookout and getaway driver for other gang members. During one such stint as driver, an attempted robbery within an apartment resulted in the tragic death of a pregnant woman named Liliana Colmenares. … For good reason, the government acknowledges that Mr. Vasquez's medical condition provides the extraordinary and compelling circumstances needed to support his application. … Despite the grim picture that is Mr. Vasquez's health, the government insists he is, or remains, a danger to his community and thus should be required to serve his full sentence. I do not share that opinion. As an initial matter, it is indeed questionable whether on his own Mr. Vasquez was ever a danger to anyone. And it is clearly more difficult to infer that he is a danger now. The government understandably focuses on the activities of the group and, in particular, the tragic death of Ms. Colmenares and her unborn child. But the argument that such a sad occurrence speaks to the issue of Mr. Vasquez's dangerousness now requires closer scrutiny. Mr. Vasquez was rightly held responsible for the foreseeable actions of his cohorts. But a more accurate measure of his personal culpability requires a closer examination of the events of June 10, 2001. It is undisputed that the murder was unplanned and unintended. … He was essentially used only to shuttle the clearly more culpable assailants away from the various crime scenes in his personal vehicle. With a seventh-grade education, Mr. Vasquez did what he was told, had no decision-making authority and played no role in the planning of the armed robberies, beyond occasionally identifying possible drug dealing targets. … For the reasons stated herein, the Court grants Mr. Vasquez's motion for compassionate release. A bit player in a cast of violent thieves, he has been punished severely, but given his limitations and the ever-present threats to his health and survival, every day in prison is particularly difficult and prompts this Court to conclude that enough is enough. Accordingly, effective May 3, 2021, the sentence is reduced to TIME SERVED.”

Death Watch: The BOP reports no new COVID-related fatalities. Inmate fatalities therefore remain at 222. Four of these inmates died while on home confinement. BOP staff fatalities remain at 4.

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