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May 31, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 117 (up from 95) Currently positive-testing staff: 243 (down from 249) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 51,270 (down from 51,315) Recovered staff: 12,728 (up from 12,709)


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

Waseca FCI: 15 (unchanged)

Otisville FCI: 7

Tallahasee FCI: 6 (down from 12)

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

Central Headquarters: 25 (unchanged)

Victorville Medium I: 13 (unchanged)

Victorville USP: 13 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 139,354 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 13,516 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,716 (down from 128,720) Positive tests: 55,364 (down from 55,368)


Total vaccine doses administered: 319,252 (up from 318,941)


Case Note: Pro se defendant gets double whammy...


In U.S. v. KARL T. WALDON, Defendant-Appellant., No. 21-12097, 2022 WL 1740425 (11th Cir. May 31, 2022), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the denial of this defendant's motions for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act and compassionate release, explaining: Mr. Waldon was convicted and sentenced under § 841(b)(1)(C)—not § 841(b)(1)(A)(iii) or (B)(iii). As such, the district court did not err in holding that he is ineligible for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act. Simply stated, Mr. Waldon was not sentenced for a covered offense. See First Step Act § 404; Terry, 141 S. Ct. at 1862–64.

A district court may not grant compassionate release unless it makes three findings: that (1) there are “extraordinary and compelling reasons” to do so; (2) any sentence reduction is consistent with § 1B1.13; and (3) the § 3553(a) factors weigh in favor of compassionate release. United States v. Tinker, 14 F.4th 1234, 1237 (11th Cir. 2021). A prisoner seeking compassionate release is also required to exhaust his administrative remedies before requesting relief from the district court. 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A); United States v. Harris, 989 F.3d 908, 911 (11th Cir. 2021).

Mr. Waldon's brief is completely silent as to the district court's determination that the § 3553(a) factors do not weigh in favor of his release. And though we construe pro se briefs liberally, issues not briefed on appeal by a pro se litigant are deemed abandoned. See Timson v. Sampson, 518 F.3d 870, 873 (11th Cir. 2008). Where an appellant completely fails to properly challenge one of the grounds on which the district court based its judgment, “he is deemed to have abandoned any challenge of that ground, and it follows that the judgment is due to be affirmed.” Sapuppo v. All-state Floridian Ins. Co., 739 F.3d 678, 680 (11th Cir. 2014).

Even if we were to assume that Mr. Waldon exhausted his administrative remedies, that there are extraordinary and compelling reasons for his release, and that a sentence reduction would be consistent with § 1B1.13, his failure to dispute the district court's finding that the § 3553(a) factors do not weigh in favor of compassionate release is fatal to his claim. Because he fails to properly challenge the district court's denial of his motion for compassionate release, it must be affirmed. See id. at 680.


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no additional COVID-related inmate fatalities, leaving the total at 295. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7

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