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October 18, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 88 BOP facilities and 8 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 142 (down from 183) Currently positive-testing staff: 381 (unchanged) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 48,641 (up from 48,623) Recovered staff: 14,238 (up from 14,234)


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

Seagoville FCI: 20 (unchanged)

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 13 (down from 41)

Milan FCI: 8


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

Central Office HQ: 58 (unchanged)

Brooklyn MDC: 35 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 27 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 143,418 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,016 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,686 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,334 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 331,762 (up from 331,641)


Case Note: Yesterday the DC Circuit says no... today the Idaho district court says yes...


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 89 BOP facilities and 9 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 187 (down from 270) Currently positive-testing staff: 393 (unchanged) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 48,666 (up from 48,692) Recovered staff: 14,206 (up from 14,203)


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

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 36 (down from 83)

Seagoville FCI: 20 (down from 21)

Allenwood Medium FCI: 17


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

Central Office HQ: 58 (unchanged)

Brooklyn MDC: 34 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 27 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 143,098 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,108 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,692 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,340 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 331,270 (up from 331,031)


Case Note: Life down to 280 months for rehabilitated, pre-Booker defendant...


In U.S. v. Salvador Mendez-Zamora, Defendant., No. 2:00-CR-20066-JAR-5, 2022 WL 9333452 (D. Kan. Oct. 14, 2022) (Robinson, J.), the court, wth the government's blessing, reduces defendant’s life sentence because the guidelines are no longer mandatory, defendant’s youth at time of offense, disparities with co-d’s, and rehabilitation, explaining: “This matter is before the Court on defendant Salvador Mendez-Zamora's motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Docs. 311, 312. The government now does not oppose the request and agrees the defendant's sentence should be reduced from life to 280 months’ imprisonment. The “combination” of a sentencing scheme that would no longer apply and “a defendant's unique circumstances” can “constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons” for a reduction under § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). See United States v. McGee, 992 F.3d 1036, 1048 (10th Cir. 2021); United States v. Maumau, 993 F.3d 821, 837 (10th Cir. 2021). Mr. Mendez presents a combination of reasons that warrant a reduction, including the fact he received a life sentence under the no longer applicable mandatory guidelines, his youth at the time of the offense, codefendant sentence disparities, and his post-sentencing rehabilitation. In 2001, an indictment charged Mr. Mendez, four of his older siblings, and two other codefendants with trafficking methamphetamine. Three of the defendants absconded and the case against them was dismissed. Doc. 290. One brother, Mario Mendez-Zamora, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment. Heraclio Gaona-Sepulveda went to trial and was convicted, and was sentenced to 264 months’ imprisonment, later reduced to 235 months. Prior to trial, the government offered Mr. Mendez a plea deal including 25 years’ imprisonment, which Mr. Mendez rejected. Mr. Mendez went to trial and was convicted of one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of methamphetamine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of using a phone to facilitate drug trafficking. Doc. 149, 190. He had no prior criminal history. Mr. Mendez's mandatory guidelines range was life. The district court judge imposed a life sentence. The changes in the law with respect to the advisory guidelines and youth and culpability are extraordinary and compelling reasons for a reduction in this case. At the time of sentencing, the guidelines were mandatory. The sentencing court was required to give Mr. Mendez a life sentence unless it found a specified departure was available. See United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 234 (2005). Youth was not a permissible ground for a departure, which the sentencing court specifically noted. USSG § 5H1.1 (2001); Doc. 223, at 169-70. But under the now-advisory guidelines system, a sentencing court can consider a much wider variety of bases for a downward variance, including Mr. Mendez's youth, which likely would have affected the sentence he received. [Collecting cases] … The law has also changed significantly since Mr. Mendez's sentencing with respect to the law's recognition of the relationship between youth and culpability. Contrary to the law in 2001, current law recognizes that young people are less mature, are more reckless and impulsive, are more vulnerable to surrounding influence, lack the ability to control their lives and surroundings, and have characters that are less fixed and more amenable to change, all of which makes irrevocable sentences like mandatory life inappropriate in many cases. See, e.g, Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 471 (2012) … In fact, Mr. Mendez's older brother and codefendant, Mario, was charged with the same conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, along with additional counts of distributing methamphetamine. Doc. 9. Mario pleaded guilty to one count and received a sentence of 210 months. Doc. 133. He has been released. Of all the codefendants, Mr. Mendez—the youngest brother—was the only codefendant sentenced to life in prison, and is the only one still in prison. This disparity also supports a reduction. … The Court also considers the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors, including Mr. Mendez's post-sentencing conduct, which “provides the most-up-to-date picture” of his history and characteristics. United States v. Merriweather, 2021 WL 3488407, at *6 (D. Kan. Aug. 9, 2021). Mr. Mendez is now 42 years old and has served more than 22 years in prison, far longer than any other defendant in the case. He had no prior criminal history. He was not convicted or accused of any violence as part of the offense. He has not been accused of any violence in prison. And despite his life sentence, he has educated himself in BOP. He has maintained employment, earned his GED and learned English as a second language. Mr. Mendez also has the support system of his family. He is not a citizen and will be deported to Mexico upon his release from prison, where he can reconnect with his family and will pose no danger to the public. For all these reasons, a 280-month sentence adequately accounts for the seriousness of the offense, as well as Mr. Mendez's youth at the time. It is a sentence longer than that served by any other codefendant and is sufficient punishment in the circumstances of this case. The Court has considered the applicable factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) and 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) to modify Mr. Mendez's total sentence from life to 280 months’ imprisonment. That sentence is sufficient to serve the goals of incapacitation, deterrence, retribution, and rehabilitation.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) Today the BOP identified no additional inmate fatalities and so the total number COVID-related inmate deaths remains at 308. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7

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