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October 7, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE, COVID-19, and BOP BLOG




Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 90 BOP facilities and 12 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 263 (up from 257) Currently positive-testing staff: 410 (up from 407) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 48,731 (down from 48,787) Recovered staff: 14,173 (up from 14,162)


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

Yazoo City Medium FCI: 83 (unchanged)

Oakdale II FCI: 23 (unchanged)

Seagoville FCI: 20


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

Central Office HQ: 58 (unchanged)

Brooklyn MDC: 33 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 27 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 143,078 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,125 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,704 (unchanged) Positive tests: 55,352 (unchanged)


Total vaccine doses administered: 330,814 (up from 330,593)


Case Note: District court's erroneous factual findings and failure to acknowledge any of defendant's many arguments that relied on postsentencing conduct and circumstances, requires remand...


In U.S. v. JONATHON CRAIG SINGLETON, Defendant - Appellant., No. 21-6798, 2022 WL 5240607 (4th Cir. Oct. 6, 2022) (unpublished) (per curium), the fourth circuit found that the district court’s erroneous finding that defendant refused vaccine twice, when it was once, and its failure to consider underlying reasons for refusing, taken together with failure to consider mitigation under 3553(a), warrants vacatur and remand, explaining: "The district court found that Singleton had not shown an extraordinary and compelling reason for release based on the COVID-19 pandemic because he had twice refused the vaccine. Singleton argues that the district court erroneously found that he refused the COVID-19 vaccine twice and improperly failed to consider his reason for declining the vaccine.1 Initially, the district court erroneously stated that Singleton refused the vaccine twice; the record reveals that he refused the vaccine only once. Moreover, the district court failed to consider Singleton's argument that he refused the vaccine because he had a history of a severe allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine and other medications and was denied the ability to consult with a medical professional prior to vaccination. Because the district court made a factual error and failed to consider Singleton's individual circumstances, we conclude that the court abused its discretion in considering whether Singleton provided an extraordinary and compelling reason for release. Singleton next challenges the district court's analysis of the § 3553(a) factors. Specifically, he contends that the court failed to consider his rehabilitation evidence; his argument that his time served would constitute a just punishment; his low recidivism score; and his argument that, due to a change in state law, one of his prior drug felonies was reduced to a misdemeanor, which would have reduced his criminal history category. Singleton also argues that the district court abused its discretion by discussing the need to avoid an unwarranted sentencing disparity from his codefendants—an argument he claims he never raised. Instead, Singleton contended in the district court that the fact that his codefendants had been released was a proper consideration when determining whether the sentence was just punishment, provided proper deterrence, protected the public, and promoted respect for the law. When ruling on a motion for compassionate release, a district court must consider the § 3553(a) factors “to the extent that they are applicable.” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). In balancing the § 3553(a) factors, there is no “categorical rule” that the district court must “acknowledge and address each of the defendant's arguments on the record.” High, 997 F.3d at 188-89 (emphasis omitted). … In its order denying compassionate release, the district court cited the § 3553 factors but did not acknowledge or address any of Singleton's mitigating arguments.3 While Singleton did not present a “mountain of new mitigating evidence” for the court to consider, see United States v. Martin, 916 F.3d 389, 396-97 (4th Cir. 2019), Singleton offered potentially persuasive arguments, including that he had served two-thirds of his sentence, received a low recidivism score, completed educational courses and vocational training, and successfully worked as a metal fabrication technician, and that intervening changes in the law reduced the severity of his criminal history. Although the district judge who considered Singleton's motion was the same judge who originally sentenced him, Singleton was sentenced in 2006, approximately 14 years before he filed his motion for compassionate release. Given the amount of time Singleton spent in prison before filing his motion and the fact that the district court did not acknowledge any of his many arguments that relied on postsentencing conduct and circumstances, we conclude that the district court abused its discretion in considering the § 3553 factors. Accordingly, we vacate the district court's order and remand for consideration of Singleton's reasons for refusing vaccination and his arguments pertaining to the § 3553(a) factors. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.”



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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