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October 1, 2021: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG




Quick Facts (Full BOP Stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 480 (up from 475) Currently positive-testing staff: 497 (down from 507) Recovered inmates: 42,988 (down from 43,017) Recovered staff: 7,773 (up from 7,751)


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

Beaumont USPI: 69 (unchanged)

Herlong FCI: 68 (unchanged)

Sheridan FCI: 61 (down from 62)

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

Oakdale I FCI: 27 (unchanged)

Phoenix FCI: 27 (unchanged)

Forrest City Low FCI 16 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 131,626 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,594 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 122,270 (up from 122,205) Positive tests: 43,003 (down from 43,026)

Total vaccine doses administered: 227,536

Case Note: Defendant went to trial and got the mandatory minimum of 360 months, which differentiates him from his codefendants; for this and other reasons, compassionate release denied...


In U.S. v. LAWRENCE OZEL LITTLE, 2021 WL 4452206 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 29, 2021) (Steeh, J.), the court found, essentially, that defendant must live with his choice to go to trial, explaining: "Little was indicted on December 18, 1991. Little confessed to being one of the three masked men and he implicated two other men involved in the killing, Anthony Ellis and defendant's brother Darrin. Little opted to go to trial and the jury convicted him of intentionally killing a government witness as well as aiding and abetting in that crime. The Court sentenced Little to life in prison, which was required by statute and was within the guidelines range of 360 months to life. After Little's conviction and sentence, prosecutors charged Ellis and Darrin with the same homicide. See United States v. Little, No. 93-80130. Ellis pleaded guilty to the killing and was sentenced to 121 months imprisonment. Darrin pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment. Little moves for compassionate release based on his rehabilitation, his age at the time of the offense, sentencing disparities, and his current age and health. … A panel of the Court recently made clear that “non-retroactive changes in the law, whether alone or in combination with other personal factors, are not ‘extraordinary and compelling reasons’ for a sentence reduction. … Little raises several arguments as extraordinary and compelling reasons that warrant his release or a reduction in his sentence. These include his age at the time of the offense, sentencing disparities between himself and the other individuals sentenced for the same crime, his rehabilitation in prison, and his health. This case does not involve an argument that a non-retroactive change in sentencing law should constitute an extraordinary and compelling reason to reduce Little's sentence. To be sure, there is science to support Little's argument that “the prefrontal cortex of the brain does not reach ‘full adult maturity’ until ‘the early to mid-20s,’ and this part of the brain controls impulse control, complex decision-making, inhibition, and planning.” ECF No. 147, PageID.773. However, Little, who was just shy of 24 at the time he committed the murder of the government witness, was on the cusp of full brain maturity. Furthermore, this Court may not rely on facts that existed at sentencing, including Little's age at the time of the offense, in undertaking the extraordinary and compelling reason analysis. Hunter, 2021 WL 3855665 at *9. … Little was viewed differently for purposes of sentencing than the other two men, whose offense levels and criminal history categories were far less than Little's. There is an additional difference between Little and his brother Darrin, who pled to committing a lesser crime. Finally, any adult in the same position as Little—that is one who refuses to cooperate and is tried and convicted for intentionally killing a government witness—will receive a life sentence because it is statutorily required. See 18 U.S.C. §§ 1512, 1111. The disparity in the sentences is not relevant in this case because the comparators are not similarly situated. For this reason, the disparity is not extraordinary and compelling. … Little presents evidence of rehabilitation that by all accounts is to be commended. However, no matter how impressive, rehabilitation alone cannot be considered an extraordinary and compelling reason for compassionate release. Hunter, 2021 WL 3855665 at *11; 18 U.S.C. § 994(t). As discussed above, Little is not eligible for a reduction in sentence based on any of the other factors he raised in his motion (youth, disparity of sentence, health). Therefore, Little's record of rehabilitation does not present an extraordinary and compelling reason for compassionate release. … The fact that Little targeted a government witness carries added significance, since law enforcement often depend on cooperators to investigate and prosecute organized crime. Reducing Little's sentence given the circumstances would dissuade cooperators and would diminish the deterrent effect his sentence has on future conspiracies to kill government witnesses.”


Death Watch (press releases announcing BOP COVID-related deaths may be found here): The BOP has reported one new inmate fatality. The inmate death toll is now 261. Ten of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 6.


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