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February 16, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 73 BOP facilities and 8 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 203 (unchanged) Currently positive-testing staff: 79 (down from 125) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 45,945 (unchanged) Recovered staff: 15,125 (up from 15,075)


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

Carswell FMC: 21 (unchanged)

Fort Dix FCI: 20 (unchanged)

Montgomery FPC: 14 (unchanged)


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

Devens FMC: 11 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 7

Estill FCI: 6


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 144,833 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,662 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,652 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,300 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 347,664 (unchanged)


Case Note: Length of sentence, the substantial time defendant has already served, and his strong evidence of rehabilitation deemed collectively sufficient to warrant release...


In U.S. v. Salliey, No. CR RDB-10-0298, 2023 WL 1970491 (D. Md. Feb. 13, 2023), the court granted compassionate release to defendant sentenced to 204 months for drugs and due to be released March 30, 2025, explaining: Salliey offers four potential “extraordinary and compelling reasons” to grant him compassionate release. These include: (1) the severity and disproportionality of his sentence relative to his offense; (2) the substantial portion of that sentence Salliey has already served; (3) his extensive rehabilitation; and (4) his vulnerability to COVID-19. (See Def.’s Mot. 2–4.) Collectively, this Court finds these arguments persuasive.

Salliey's contention regarding COVID-19 is unpersuasive. This Court has determined that a heightened susceptibility to COVID-19 may constitute an extraordinary and compelling reason for a sentence reduction. See, e.g., United States v. Hurtt, No. JKB-14-0479, 2020 WL 3639987, at *1 (D. Md. July 6, 2020). However, “the coronavirus is ‘not tantamount to a get out of jail free card.’ ” United States v. Hiller, No. ELH-18-0389, 2020 WL 2041673, at *4 (D. Md. Apr. 28, 2020) (quoting United States v. Williams, No. PWG-13-544, 2020 WL 1434130, at *3 (D. Md. Mar. 24, 2020)). Accordingly, for COVID-19 to constitute an “extraordinary and compelling” circumstance, the defendant must allege that they have a “particularized susceptibility” to COVID-19. See, e.g., United States v. Petway, No. 21-6488, 2022 WL 168577, at * 2 (4th Cir. Jan. 19, 2022). Throughout his motion, Salliey highlights the dangers presented by COVID-19, and the rapid spread of the virus throughout the incarcerated population. (See Def.’s Mot. 28–31.) However, as the Government observes, Salliey “has failed to provide any evidence that he suffers from any underlying medical condition that may make him vulnerable or susceptible to COVID-19.” (Gov't's Resp. 7.)

Nevertheless, this Court concludes that the length of Salliey's sentence, the substantial time he has already served, and his strong evidence of rehabilitation are collectively sufficient. Salliey was sentenced to a term of 204 months, or seventeen years, for possession of a firearm. (See Judgment 2.) The record reflects that he has already served a substantial portion of that sentence, and that he is scheduled to be released in just over two years. (See Gov't's Resp. 2.) During his incarceration, Salliey has received his GED, and completed several self-betterment courses and vocational training programs, providing strong evidence of rehabilitation. (See Certificates of Completion, ECF No. 74-1.) Taken together and evaluated holistically, these factors are sufficiently “extraordinary and compelling” to justify considering Salliey's request for compassionate release. See, e.g., United States v. Jenkins, No. DKC 12-0043, 2021 WL 5140198, at *4 (D. Md. Nov. 4, 2021) (concluding that lengthy sentence and rehabilitation supported sentence reduction in light of national trends favoring lenient interpretation of career offender provisions); United States v. Ramsay, 538 F. Supp. 3d 407, 425–26 (S.D.N.Y. 2021) (finding “compelling evidence of rehabilitation” and “the mandatory nature of the sentence” sufficient to consider compassionate release motion). Accordingly, this motion will turn on this Court's application of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.


III. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) Factors A court must conduct an “individualized assessment” of a defendant's circumstances under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) to determine whether he is eligible for a sentence reduction. McCoy, 981 F.3d at 286. These factors require this Court to consider: (1) the defendant's personal history and characteristics; (2) his sentence relative to the nature and seriousness of his offense; (3) the need for a sentence to provide just punishment, promote respect for the law, reflect the seriousness of the offense, deter crime, and protect the public; (4) the need for rehabilitative services; (5) the applicable guideline sentence; and (6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities among similarly-situated defendants. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A); 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). On balance, these factors justify a time served sentence and immediate compassionate release.


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) Today, the BOP announced no new COVID-related deaths, leaving the total number of inmate COVID-related deaths at 312. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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