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September 22, 2021: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG



Quick Facts: Currently positive-testing inmates: 545 (down from 588) Currently positive-testing staff: 567 (up from 559) Recovered inmates: 43,009 (up from 42,985) Recovered staff: 7,548 (up from 7,539)


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

Sheridan FCI: 91 (unchanged)

Herlong FCI: 89 (down from 153)

Coleman Low FCI: 88 (down from 89)

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

Oakdale I FCI: 26 (unchanged)

Beaumont USP: 25 (unchanged)

Phoenix FCI: 20 (unchanged)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 131,303 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,404 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 121,689 (up from 121,654) Positive tests: 43,081 (down from 43,098)

Total vaccine doses administered: 223,926

Case Note: Defendant's terminal illness, although extraordinary and compelling, was already considered when court imposed below-Guidelines 100-month sentence and does not justify release after only 50 months...


In U.S. v. ETELBERTO PAYAN SALAZAR, 2021 WL 4269429 (S.D. Fla. Sept. 18, 2021) (Ruiz II, J.), the court found that, although defendant has a terminal illness, this was accounted for at sentencing, and service of half his sentence would undermine 3553(a), explaining: "On July 17, 2017, Defendant was arrested in Colombia for drug-related offenses. On June 20, 2019, Defendant was extradited to the United States. On October 10, 2019, Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring with others to distribute more than five (5) kilograms of cocaine, knowing that it was to be unlawfully imported into the United States in violation of Title 21, United States Code, section 959(a)(2); all in violation of Title 21, United States Code, section 963. See Plea Agreement [ECF No. 119]. Specifically, Defendant pleaded guilty to using maritime vessels to ship at least 3,000 kilograms of cocaine into the United States. See Stipulated Factual Proffer [ECF No. 118]. On December 19, 2019, Defendant was sentenced to 100 months imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. See Judgment [ECF No. 160]. Defendant is currently housed at the Federal Medical Center (“FMC”) in Devens, Massachusetts, which specializes in treating inmates with medical conditions that require constant care. To date, Defendant has served approximately 50 months of his sentence, 24 of which were served in prison in Colombia. … For the sake of brevity, the Court will not restate the section 3582(c)(1)(A) analysis laid out in its July 8, 2020 Order Denying Motion for Compassionate Release [ECF No. 207] (“Order”). As set out in the Order, there is no doubt that Defendant suffers from a terminal illness with an end of life trajectory, fitting squarely within the Sentencing Commission's definition of an “extraordinary and compelling reason” that may warrant a reduction in sentence. Id. at 4. However, as explained below, the section 3553(a) factors continue to weigh against granting compassionate release at this time. Defendant brings this Renewed Motion having now served exactly half of his 100-month sentence, a below-Guidelines sentence which already accounted for Defendant's health condition. As the Court explained in its previous Order, the seriousness of Defendant's offense of conviction cannot be understated. Releasing Defendant now—when he has served just half of his already-reduced sentence for a serious drug-trafficking offense—would not promote respect for the law, provide just punishment for the offense, or afford adequate deterrence. The Court commends Mr. Salazar's disciplinary record in prison and is sympathetic to his health condition. But releasing Defendant at the one-half mark of his sentence would stand in stark contrast with inmates seeking release after serving the majority their incarceration (i.e. serving 60% or more of their sentence). … Mr. Salazar is just at the midway point of his sentence. Under these circumstances, his release would effectively subvert the sentence the Court thoughtfully imposed and undermine the goals of just punishment and general deterrence. The Court is not foreclosing the possibility of future relief based on Mr. Salazar's health, but to release him right now, just at the 50% mark of his sentence, is incompatible with the offense of conviction. Because the Court finds that the section 3553(a) factors are inconsistent with the termination of Mr. Salazar's prison sentence, his Motion must be denied.”



Death Watch: The BOP has reported no additional inmate deaths, which remain at 256. Eight of these inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 6.





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