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May 3, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 152 (down from 158) Currently positive-testing staff: 176 (down from 181) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 52,287 (down from 52,317) Recovered staff: 12,584 (up from 12,579)


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

Lompoc FCI: 39 (unchanged)

Allenwood USP: 28 (unchanged)

Victorville Medium II FCI: 9 (unchanged)

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

Central Office HQ: 36 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 18 (unchanged)

Victorville Medium I FCI: 13 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 137,923 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,295 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,740 (up from 128,739) Positive tests: 55,388 (up from 55,387)


Total vaccine doses administered: 315,015 (up from 314,922)


News Note: Another grant of a sentencing reduction for a defendant who today would be sentenced differently...


In U.S. v. STEVEN LAVONNE MORRIS, 2022 WL 1285183 (E.D. Va. Apr. 29, 2022) (Davis, CJ), the court reduced the sentence of a defendant who, today, would not be career offender and subject to reduced guideline range under amendment, explaining: "Although the career offender designation did not increase Defendant's offense level calculation, it had the effect of increasing his Guideline Criminal History Category from a Category III to a Category VI, which resulted in his advisory Guideline range increasing from 262-327 months to 360-life. At sentencing, this Court varied downward from the 360 month recommended minimum sentence, imposing a term of 294 months imprisonment. The Court's stated justification for the significant downward variance was unrelated to Defendant's status as a career offender. … Specifically, in 2016, the “residual clause” of the Guideline definition of “crime of violence” was deleted, and without that clause, Defendant's prior Virginia attempted abduction conviction would not qualify as a predicate “crime of violence” under the career offender Guideline. Defendant argues that the resulting dramatic reduction in the sentence recommended by the Guidelines, coupled with his good behavior while incarcerated and efforts toward rehabilitation, constitute an “extraordinary and compelling” basis for compassionate release. … Defendant's motion correctly argues that the sentence disparity at issue in this case is driven by two different post-sentencing amendments to the Guidelines. As noted above, the deletion of the career offender residual clause is the primary Guideline change supporting Defendant's claim for relief. The second relevant Guideline change is commonly referred to as the “drugs minus two” amendment, which was effective November 1, 2014, and resulted in a significant reduction to the recommended sentence for federal drug offenders. U.S.S.G. Supp. to App. C, Amend. 782. As its name suggests, the “drugs minus two” amendment had the effect of reducing Guideline drug-weight “base offense levels” by two levels, and its impact was greatest for offenders, like Defendant, whose Guideline ranges fall on the bottom portion of the Guideline Sentencing Table. Were Defendant sentenced today, he would not only have a lower criminal history category (because he would not qualify as a career offender), but he would also not face any impediment to receiving the full benefit of the drugs minus two amendment. Application of the amendment in this case would reduce Defendant's drug-based offense level from a level 37 to a level 35, which when paired with a Criminal History Category of III, would result in an advisory Guideline range of 210-262 months imprisonment. Accordingly, the difference between the minimum sentence recommended under the current Guidelines and the minimum sentence recommended by the Guidelines in effect at the time of sentencing is more than 12 years. Viewed another way, the minimum sentence recommended by the Guidelines at sentencing was 70% higher than the minimum sentence that the Guidelines would recommend if Defendant committed the same drug trafficking offense today. Considering the above calculations, it is clear to the Court that Defendant is serving a sentence many years longer than he would receive if he were sentenced today. In other words, the Court finds that there is a substantial sentencing disparity resulting from little more than the date on which Defendant was sentenced. … Compassionate release motions predicated on Norman argue that a career offender designation that was appropriate at the time of sentencing but would not apply under the Fourth Circuit's current interpretation of the Guideline definition of “conspiracy” is a valid basis for compassionate release. … In short, on this case-specific record, the substantial disparity between the Guideline range that would be applicable if Defendant were sentenced today and the range applied at his original sentencing, Defendant's decade-long period of good behavior while incarcerated, and the non-violent nature of Defendant's drug conspiracy, when taken together, constitute an “extraordinary and compelling” reason for a reduced sentence. … Having reviewed Defendant's PSR and the relevant portions of the original sentencing transcript, as well as the factual and legal developments relied on by Defendant in support of his compassionate release motion, the Court finds that the § 3553(a) factors support a discretionary sentence reduction from 294 months to 192 months.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no new inmate fatalities, leaving the total at 294. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7



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