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March 15, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 196 (down from 218) Currently positive-testing staff: 386 (down from 393) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 54,284 (down from 54,293) Recovered staff: 12,256 (up from 12,246)


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

Rochester FMC: 40 (unchanged)

Alderson FPC: 16 (up from 15)

Marion USP: 10 (down from 12)

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

Central Office HQ: 30 (unchanged)

Florence ADMAX: 28 (unchanged)

Florence - High USP: 26 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 134,616 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,720 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,858 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,506 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 306,322 (up from 306,203)


Case Note: Disparity, rehabilitation, warrant sentence reduction from life to 25 years...


In U.S. v. RICHARD LUGO, 2022 WL 732153 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 2022) (Gershon, J.), the district court agrees with the defendant serving mandatory life sentence for VICAR murder that, inter alia, disparity with co-defendants, whose life sentences for the same murder charged under RICO were subsequently reduced to 30-years on a Booker remand, is extraordinary and compelling, warranting sentence reduction, explaining: "On August 15, 2001, a grand jury returned an indictment charging Tyler, McMillan, Watson, Hunter, Tonya Foster (another one of Tyler's associates), Richard Lugo, and Daniel Lugo with various crimes, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, firearms offenses, and two violent crimes in aid of racketeering (“VICAR”)—the murder of Lanny Dillard and the conspiracy to murder other members of the Little Jus crew. Each defendant was arrested in October 2001, except for Richard Lugo, who was arrested in January 2003. … With respect to racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering, Tyler and Watson were found guilty of the following racketeering acts in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c): … and the murder of Dillard. McMillan was found guilty of the latter two acts. On December 17, 2002, under the Sentencing Guidelines, which were then considered mandatory, Judge Weinstein sentenced Tyler, McMillan, and Watson each to life imprisonment. … In 2005, on remand after the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), which held that the Sentencing Guidelines are advisory, Judge Weinstein resentenced Tyler, McMillan, and Watson each to a non-Guidelines sentence of 30 years. … The most compelling factor is the stark disparity between Lugo's life sentence and the 30-year sentences imposed on Tyler, McMillan, and Watson, even though these men were convicted of behavior that was similarly egregious. Tyler was the leader of the D-Nice Enterprise, a large drug and violent organization, and he orchestrated the Lugo brothers’ murder of Lanny Dillard—a killing intended to exact revenge. In particular, it was Tyler who decided on the murder and, with the others, hired the Lugo brothers to effectuate his plan. Lugo's lengthy and violent criminal history does not distinguish him from these three co-defendants. Tyler, who led a criminal enterprise that was, according to Judge Weinstein, “essentially brutal,” was previously convicted of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. McMillan had been convicted, among other serious offenses, of attempted second-degree murder of a police officer and attempted second-degree arson. And Watson had served time for, among other crimes, robbery and manslaughter, and was sentenced on a second-degree murder conviction just before Judge Weinstein sentenced him in this case. In short, I see no reason for Lugo to serve a sentence that requires him to die in prison while these other men serve 30 years. The First Step Act allows me to rectify this disparity. Lugo's conduct in prison over the past decade also supports a sentence reduction as it demonstrates that he is likely to lead a law-abiding life once released. … The government argues that the § 3553(a) sentencing factors weigh against granting Lugo relief. … Here, the gravity of Lugo's offense cannot be overstated. “There is no crime more serious than murder.” Cruz, 2021 WL 1326851, at *12. In addition, Lugo has a lengthy criminal history that involves numerous violent crimes. These factors support a severe sentence. But Lugo's behavior in prison over the past decade shows that he has worked to educate himself and to develop skills to lead a law-abiding life were he to be released. … And, since none of his co-defendants—who also have lengthy and violent criminal records—will serve more than 30 years for at least equally egregious behavior, reducing Lugo's sentence will rectify the extreme disparity of his life sentence. The government argues that Tyler's, McMillan's, and Watson's shorter sentences are irrelevant to this motion because they were convicted under § 1962(c) while Lugo was convicted under § 1959(a)(1). … While Lugo was convicted under a statute that requires a mandatory life sentence and Tyler, McMillan, and Watson were not, I cannot ignore the fact that all four men were convicted of murdering Lanny Dillard. Tyler, in fact, ordered the execution. Tellingly, the government makes no attempt to show that the conduct that led to Lugo's conviction was any more culpable than that of Tyler, McMillan, or Watson. Nor does it assert that Lugo's criminal history or conduct in prison distinguishes him from these three men. Indeed, Lugo was not charged under § 1962(c) because there was no evidence that he was a member of the violent and vindictive D'Nice Enterprise—a fact that should work in his favor, not justify a sentence longer than those imposed on enterprise members. See Lewis, 2021 WL 3292180, at *2. Further, the government's emphasis on the importance of Lugo's life sentence in deterring others from engaging in behavior like Lugo's is undercut by its willingness to offer Lugo, until the eve of trial, a plea that would have resulted in a 10-year sentence. … Lugo will be resentenced to 25 years of incarceration. This sentence accounts for the factors described above as well as for the suffering that Lugo has experienced, and likely will continue to experience, while incarcerated during a lengthy and ongoing pandemic. Notably, a 25-year sentence is still higher than the recent average federal sentence for murder, which is slightly over 20 years.”



Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has announced no new inmate deaths, leaving the inmate death toll at 288. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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