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September 9, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here)


Confirmed active cases at 110 BOP facilities and 14 RRCs

Currently positive-testing inmates: 477 (up from 476) Currently positive-testing staff: 716 (up from 697) Recovered inmates currently in the BOP: 49,078 (up from 49,068) Recovered staff: 13,690 (up from 13,687)


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

Schuylkill FCI: 67 (unchanged)

Canaan USP: 67 (unchanged)

Yazoo City Low FCI: 48 (unchanged)

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

Central Office HQ: 59 (unchanged)

Rochester FMC: 35 (unchanged)

Brooklyn MDC: 30 (up from 20)

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 142,171 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,051 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,715 (up from 128,714) Positive tests: 55,364 (up from 55,363)


Total vaccine doses administered: 329,346 (up from 329,336)


Case Note:


In U.S. v. ALFANCO DEXTER BRITTON, Defendant-Petitioner, No. 5:12-CR-00014, 2022 WL 4082477 (W.D. Va. Sept. 6, 2022) (Urbanski, CJ), the court reduced lifer’s sentenced to 30 years 10 years into sentence was imposed because the § 851 enhancement that required the mandatory life sentence would no longer apply, explaining: "On April 19, 2012, a Grand Jury returned a 29-count Indictment charging Britton and seven codefendants with various offenses based on distribution of cocaine base, or “crack.” … On May 23, 2012, the government gave notice of enhanced punishment as to Britton, pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851. The notice was based on Britton's two previous felony convictions in a Florida state court for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and one previous felony conviction in state court for transporting drug paraphernalia. … On November 1, 2012, a jury returned a verdict finding Britton guilty on all counts except Count 16. On April 18, 2013, Britton was sentenced to life in prison on Count 1 and 360 months on the remaining counts to run concurrently with each other and with Count 1, to be followed by a 10-year period of supervised release. J. ECF No. 466. The life sentence on Count 1 was the mandatory minimum sentence under 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(A) and was increased from a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life based on his prior convictions. … Britton's sentence under the United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG or guidelines) was based upon an offense level of 40 and a criminal history category of VI, which resulted in a guidelines imprisonment range of 360 months to life. … In this case, Britton's argument is based on a change to 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) which occurred as part of the First Step Act. Prior to the First Step Act, § 841(b)(1)(A) provided that if a person committed a violation of § 841(b)(1)(A) after two or more prior convictions for a felony drug offense had become final, the person would be sentenced to a mandatory term of life imprisonment without release. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (2010). The First Step Act amended the statue to provide that the statutory minimum penalty for a person with two prior felony convictions is now 25 years. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (2018). Thus, if Britton were sentenced for the same conduct today as he was in 2012, he would face a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years on Count 1, rather than life. In McCoy, 981 F.3d at 285-86, the Fourth Circuit found that a “gross disparity” between a petitioner's sentence at the time of conviction and the sentence that would be imposed under current law can be considered an “extraordinary and compelling reason” for granting compassionate release.3 Britton argues that if he were sentenced today, he would most likely be sentenced to the statutory mandatory minimum term of 25 years on Count 1 and argues that the difference between a life sentence and a 25-year sentence is a gross disparity that provides an extraordinary and compelling reason to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). … The court finds that the difference between the life sentence Britton received on Count 1 and the 25-year sentence he likely would receive for the same conduct today under § 841 (b)(1)(A) is a gross disparity and meets the threshold discussed in McCoy. The court further finds that the disparity is an “extraordinary and compelling” reason warranting a sentence reduction under § 3582(c)(1)(A). Having found that an extraordinary and compelling reason exists for a sentence reduction, the court “must ‘consider[ ]’ the § 3553(a) sentencing factors ‘to the extent that they are applicable’ in deciding whether to exercise its discretion to reduce the defendant's term of imprisonment.” … he fact that Britton would be subject to a much shorter sentence today based on Congress' amendment of the recidivist statute weighs in favor of a sentence reduction. … . A sentence of 360 months, the bottom of the sentencing guidelines, is substantial, and the court does not believe that additional time is necessary to achieve the punitive and deterrent goals of punishment. Nor does the court find that additional time is necessary to provide Britton with educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment. Finally, considering the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities, the court notes that the sentences assessed in the conspiracy ranged from 12 months to life, and that the two life sentences were driven by § 851 enhancements. The court previously reduced the sentence of one of Britton's co-defendants, Antonio Williams, from life to 188 months in response to a motion for compassionate release based on changes to § 841(b)(1)(A). ECF Nos. 771, 772. The sentence of 188 months was the bottom of Williams's sentencing guidelines without the mandatory life sentence called for by the enhancement. ECF No. 771 at 21-22. A sentence of 360 months, the bottom of Britton's guidelines, does not create an unwarranted sentencing disparity between Britton and his co-defendants and reflects the seriousness of his conduct in committing the offenses.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has identified no new COVID-related fatalities. The total number COVID-related inmate deaths remains at 306. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.

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