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February 22, 2023: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 59 BOP facilities and 5 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 198 (down from 240) Currently positive-testing staff: 54 (up from 51) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 45,649 (down from 45,675) Recovered staff: 15,167 (up from 15,158)


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

Carswell FMC: 52 (up from 45)

Allenwood Low FCI: 25 (up from 18)

Fort Dix FCI: 11 (down from 15)


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

Devens FMC: 5 (unchanged)

Terminal Island FCI: 5 (unchanged)

Carswell FMC: 4 (dow8 from 7)


System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 144,704 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,618 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,648 (down from 128,652) Positive tests: 55,297 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 347,999 (up from 347,962)


Case Note: Court finds "extraordinary and compelling" the 90-month difference in defendant's sentence resulting from "categorical approach" analysis pursuant to which he would no longer be subject to career offender enhancement...


In U.S. v. RICHOL GRINER, Defendant., No. CR 07-160 PJM, 2023 WL 2025079 (D. Md. Feb. 14, 2023) (Messitte, J.), the court agrees with defendant that under current law, which applies the categorical approach to career offender enhancements, he would not be a career offender and that the difference of 90 months between sentence he received and bottom of today’s guideline range is extraordinary and compelling, explaining: "In 2008, Richol Griner was convicted of three charges related to armed bank robbery and sentenced to 384 months imprisonment. To date, he has served approximately half of his sentence and is projected to be released on October 1, 2036. .... At sentencing, Griner was designated a career offender under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 based on two prior convictions for “crimes of violence,” i.e. first-degree assault and attempted escape. This career offender enhancement factored into the Court's eventual decision to sentence him to 384 months. The law has changed since 2007. When determining whether an offense qualifies as a predicate crime, courts may now only consider the statutory elements of the offense rather than particular facts of a case. See United States v. Descamps, 570 U.S. 254, 260-61 (2013); United States v. Green, 996 F.3d 176, 179-80 (4th Cir. 2021). Accordingly, offenses that can be committed without being a “crime of violence,” as defined in § 4B1.2(a), may not serve as predicates for a career offender enhancement. See Green, 996 F.3d at 180. On February 7, 2022, Griner filed a pro se “Motion for Sentence Reduction” (ECF No. 416). The Federal Public Defender's Office then elected to represent Griner and filed a Supplemental Motion for a Reduced Sentence on his behalf on September 16, 2022 (ECF No. 427). Through his own motion and that of counsel, Griner argues that his prior conviction of attempted escape offense no longer qualifies as a predicate “crime of violence” under § 4B1.2(a), a conclusion the Government does not dispute (ECF No. 435 5-6). Consequently, Griner argues that the ninety month disparity between his current sentence (384 months) and the one he would receive today without the career offender designation (a range of 294 to 346 months) constitutes an “extraordinary and compelling” circumstance justifying sentencing reduction. Accordingly, he requests the Court resentence him to 294 months imprisonment (the lowest range he could receive today). The Government opposes this request, arguing that the disparity between Griner's original sentence and the sentence he would face today is not sufficiently excessive to constitute “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (ECF No. 435). The Court disagrees. … The Court finds the impact of Griner's original career offender status as opposed to his status in its absence—a difference of ninety months—constitutes an “extraordinary and compelling” circumstance. District courts in this circuit have universally affirmed that if a defendant, “sentenced today for the same conduct, would likely receive a dramatically lower sentence than the one he is currently serving, [this] constitutes an ‘extraordinary and compelling’ reason justifying potential sentence reduction under § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i).” United States v. Elzey, No. CR JKB-09-0288, 2022 WL 316717, at *2 (D. Md. Feb. 2, 2022); see United States v. Shaw, No. 5:13-CR-00025, 2021 WL 300726, at *5 (W.D. Va. July 15, 2021) (difference of twenty-two months); United States v. Ford, No. CR RDB-09-0219, 2022 WL 4278006, at *4 (D. Md. Sept. 15, 2022) (difference of forty-five months); United States v. Glover, No. 8:07-CR-00960-JMC-15, 2022 WL 3025753, at *5 (D.S.C. Aug. 1, 2022) (difference of seventy-four months); United States v. Banks, No. 3:13-CR-00003, 2022 WL 12039432, at *2 (W.D. Va. Oct. 20, 2022) (difference of eighty-eight months). Based on the cases granting sentencing reductions for disparities as few as twenty-two months, the Court concludes that a reduction of ninety months in Griner's case is certainly an “extraordinary and compelling” reason justifying sentence reduction under § 3582(c)(1)(A).”


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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