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BOP COVID-19 UPDATE -- February 26, 2021

Currently positive-testing inmates: 1,408 (down from 1,449)

Currently positive-testing staff: 1,622 (down from 1,624)

Recovered inmates: 46,276 (up from 46,184)

Recovered staff: 4,868 (up from 4,862)

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

Schuylkill FCI: 267 (unchanged)

Florence High USP: 202 (down from 225)

Fort Dix FCI: 195 (up from 191)

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 124,482 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,731 in community-based facilities. Today's stats:

Completed tests: 105,465 (up from 105,167) Positive tests: 46,843 (up from 46,792)

Case Note: Defendant released from 480-month sentence after serving 371 months upon conviction for 16-year-long racketeering conduct involving extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, trafficking in stolen property and murder.

In U.S. v. Minicone, 2021 WL 732253 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 25, 2021) (Hurd, D.J.), the defendant had been convicted of a long-term racketeering spree that included extortion, loansharking, illegal gambling, trafficking in stolen property and murder. The court initially sentenced defendant to 391 months, but after three remands for resentencing by the Second Circuit, was sentenced under the then-mandatory Guidelines to 480 months. Judge Hurd found it was time to release the defendant, finding: "Minicone has demonstrated that 'extraordinary and compelling reasons' warrant relief. Defendant's age at the time of his crimes, Judge Munson's prior statements about defendant's relative culpability, and the fact that he is the only co-defendant still incarcerated all weigh strongly in favor of the conclusion that the 480-month sentence should be reduced in some measure. Brooker, 976 F.3d at 238 (suggesting that a trial court may consider these factors among others when determining whether to reduce a sentence under § 3582(c)).

Minicone's history of skin cancer, high blood pressure, and his possible kidney disease also place him at a substantially increased risk of complications from COVID-19, especially when considered in light of his advanced age. Cf. United States v. Resnick, 451 F. Supp. 3d 262, 269-70 (S.D.N.Y. 2020) (finding that defendant's “high susceptibility to COVID-19 falls within the purview of [Application Note 1(D)’s] catchall” language).

Minicone's lack of any prison discipline for over thirty years is extraordinary and remarkable. His successful participation in various rehabilitation programs also weighs strongly in favor of a sentence reduction. While rehabilitation alone does not qualify as an extraordinary and compelling reason, it may be considered as part of the more holistic analysis. Brooker, 976 F.3d at 237-38.

... Minicone has demonstrated that he is not a danger to others or to the community. His ill health and advanced age, when viewed in light of his spotless disciplinary record, all indicate that his release into the community will not pose a danger to anyone. Cf. Rodriguez, ––– F.Supp.3d at –––– – ––––, 2020 WL 5810161, at *5-*7.

Finally, a reduction would be consistent with the sentencing factors set forth in § 3553(a)."

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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