DOJ clarifies federal inmate release guidance after confusion plagues process

first_imgDanHenson1/iStockBy LUKE BARR and ALEXANDER MALLIN, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department issued a clarification on Thursday regarding its policy on releasing certain inmates into home confinement amid the novel coronavirus crisis, after a series of conflicting messages sparked confusion and uncertainty among prisoners, attorneys and federal courts.In a court filing with the Southern District of New York, federal prosecutors provided updated criteria that federal prisons would consider when assessing which inmates would be eligible. “[Bureau of Prisons] is at this time prioritizing for consideration those inmates who either (1) have served 50% or more of their sentences, or (2) have 18 months or less remaining in their sentences and have served 25% or more of their sentences,” the filing said. “As BOP processes the inmates eligible for home confinement under these criteria and learns more about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on BOP facilities, it is assessing whether and how to otherwise priority consideration.”The updated guidance means inmates will likely need to have served a significant portion of their sentence to be eligible for home confinement.The filing was made in the case of former medical technology company owner Lewis Stahl, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison and had appealed for release to home confinement. The criteria states that inmates do not have to apply for release and BOP case managers are reviewing eligible candidates.The latest guidance from the BOP followed conflicting signals coming from the Justice Department, which earlier this week told the BOP that it should not consider releasing inmates to home confinement who had not served at least 50% of their sentence.Prior to that, BOP had evaluated inmates for release based on two separate memorandums issued by Attorney General William Barr on March 26 and April 3, which placed restrictions on violent and sex offenders, but made no explicit mention of the 50% time-served standard.According to BOP, at least 1,440 inmates had been released to home confinement under those standards, as of Wednesday. Among them are several inmates who had served less than 50% of their total sentence, though the exact number is not clear as BOP has not provided detailed information on those who have been approved for home confinement.DOJ’s surprise decision to update its guidance this week, however, left multiple prisoners who believed they were about to be released stuck in limbo.The confusion was reflected in the Wednesday court filing for Stahl, who is currently serving 30 months for tax fraud, but was told he was set for release until the new guidance from DOJ led prosecutors to reverse their decision.“Mr. Stahl was enormously relieved to learn on April 20, 2020 that the U.S. Probation Offices had approved home confinement and that, in light of the Bureau of Prisons approval of home confinement, he would be leaving FCI Miami where he is at serious risk of contracting COVID-19 and becoming seriously ill,” the filing from Stahl’s attorney said. “It was devastating for him to learn, later the same day, that BOP had reversed its approval of his home confinement.”The Justice Department updated its guidance again on Wednesday, making clear it would give the BOP discretion in who it should consider for release and that those who were previously referred to home confinement who had served less than half their sentence will now be “expeditiously” transferred.This affects approximately 200 inmates, according to a DOJ official.It’s not immediately clear whether high-profile inmates like former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be among the 200, however. Manafort, who requested an early release, is currently serving a seven-year sentence for bank and tax fraud stemming from his work related to Ukraine between 2006 and 2015.Manafort has not served 50% of his sentence, which began last year.Sources close to Manafort believed he would have a good chance of being released based on the initial guidance announced by Barr last month. A lawyer for Manafort said he has been self-quarantining in prison for three weeks now, a requirement for any prisoners who are granted release to home confinement.Inmates, lawyers and officers who spoke to ABC News said such conflicting guidance is not only confusing, but in some cases potentially dangerous to certain prisoners’ health.One Bureau of Prisons source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ABC News that riots could happen due to the confusion going on inside the agency.In a memo obtained by ABC News dated April 22, the bureau said that moving forward it would prioritize inmates for home confinement who have served at least 50% of their sentences, but will also use discretion in how it considers individual cases.The memo describes in detail why the bureau will use a case-by-case determination to decide who gets released due to COVID-19.The confusion for lawyers, inmates and other BOP officials comes as judges around the country are exhibiting increasing frustration with how the government has handled COVID-19 outbreaks in certain prisons.In response to a lawsuit filed by inmates at Federal Correctional Institution Elkton in Ohio — a facility that has been ravaged by the diseases — Judge James Gwin said that the lack of tests Elkton has provided inmates is a “debacle.”The union president who represents staff at the facility told ABC News that the prison received roughly 80 tests from the BOP for a facility that houses more than 1,900 inmates according to the BOP. Six inmates have died at FCI Elkton from the virus, according to the bureau.Gwin ruled that hundreds of elderly and vulnerable inmates either be released or transferred as a result of worsening conditions in the prison, the first such order from a federal judge since the start of the crisis.In a statement released by BOP on Thursday, the bureau said it has increased and expanded testing for all facilities.“Next week the BOP will receive ten additional Abbott ID NOW instruments,” according to the statement. “The deployment of these additional resources will be based on facility need to contain widespread transmission and the need for early, aggressive interventions required to slow transmission at facilities with a high number of at-risk inmates such as medical referral centers.”By contrast, regarding a lawsuit brought by inmates in FCI Oakdale in Louisiana, a facility that has been among those hit the hardest by the pandemic, a federal judge said that it is not the courts’ job to rule on who gets released.“Such a designation and/or classification falls squarely within BOP’s authority and outside the purview of this Court,” Judge Terry Doughty wrote. “To rule otherwise would make this Court a de facto ‘super’ warden of Oakdale.”Former Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who was convicted of corruption in 2017, was released from prison on Wednesday and a source with direct knowledge of her case told ABC News she was released due to the pandemic.The Bureau of Prisons has not responded to an ABC News request for comment.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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Lightning strikes German football pitch, 35 injured

first_imgFrankfurt, Germany | AFP |Lightning struck a football pitch in western Germany on Saturday, injuring 35 people, three of them seriously, news agency DPA reported.The accident — which came as 11 people were hurt in a similar freak strike at a birthday party in a Parisian park — happened at the end of a children’s football match in Hoppstaedten, DPA said, citing police.The referee of the match was hit directly by the strike and was rushed to hospital. Two other adults also suffered serious injuries.Thirty children aged between nine and 11 were lightly injured and were taken to hospital for tests, along with two more adults.“According to witnesses, there was no rain and the sky wasn’t dark” when the lightning struck, a police spokesman told DPA. Weather authorities had issued a storm alert for western and southern Germany on Saturday, warning that the bad weather was due to last the weekend.Storm Elvira had already hit western Germany on Friday, bringing torrential rain and hail and flooding roads in some areas such as the town of Wiesbaden.In Rhineland-Palatinate, the state where Hoppstaedten is located, bad weather caused a train to derail but there were no injuries.In Paris, eleven people, eight of them children, were injured when lightning struck as they were holding a birthday party in Parc Monceau in the city’s northwest.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Inside Conditions…Clash of the Titans

first_imgThe mergers of the original ABA and NBA and the AFL and NFL combined four professional organizations into the two of the most powerful sports entities in the world according to many historians. They are also two perfect examples of “free market” capitalism at work. One of the principal legal architects of the ABA-NBA merger was Richard P. Tinkham. Tinkham was co-founder of the American Basketball Association along with Joe Newman. A 1957 law school grad, Tinkham co-founded the original ABA and the Indiana Pacers franchise in 1967, and served for two years as president of the ABA board of trustees. In 1972-75, he was instrumental in the creation of Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.The NFL did not seem to take the AFL seriously until a brash young quarterback from Beaver Falls, Pa. “Broadway” Joe Namath made a confident, some might even say cocky prediction that the upstart Jets would defeat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The Jets were victorious in their “quest for respect” but Tinkham said no such heroics would help determine the course of the ABA, NBA merger.“First of all we [the ABA] had filed a lawsuit against the NBA. The judge presiding over the case suggested that we talk about a merger between the two leagues. I don’t know if the NBA was serious at that point or not but when a federal judge says that you should talk, you talk. Meanwhile, the NBA player representative had permitted us to play exhibition games between the NBA and the ABA. This was obviously long before the merger. Neither league was dominant in that exhibition series.The Pacers, for example, beat the Knicks here in Indianapolis but neither league was dominant so at that point I think the NBA began to recognize that there are a lot of players out there and additional cities that can come into our league. So I think it was probably the exhibition series that really got things going.”The NBA, at the point when the merger occurred, seemed to mirror NFL with a boring and predictable game plan. The NBA had the stars but the ABA had the game. With red, white and blue balls being launched from the twilights last gleaming three-point land, the younger and more energetic ABA seemed to be gaining ground by tapping into the solid demographic of the more established league while simultaneously creating a new demographic all its own.Tinkham was asked if some of the innovations by the ABA could have also been an integral part of the merger. He said, “You’re about to get a scoop that from a book that will soon be released. It is being written by a former player and me. The title is; ‘We Changed the Game’ (and a city, too). In the book I refer to the first meeting between the merger committees in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria. Our committee knocked on the door of the suite of Ned Birish from the New York Knickerbockers who happened to be a lawyer as well. And Ned asked, “Which one of you guys is Tinkham?” My partners looked as if they were not even there because his tone was so hostile. I said, “That would be me, sir” And he said, “Tinkham, I want to tell you something. We don’t like people who sue us and I don’t know if there will ever be a merger but if there is, two things will never happen. There will never be a three-point play and we will never use that silly beach ball”Richard P. Tinkham belongs to a small number of sports owners that prove day in and day out that some of these franchises represent more than wheel barrels of cash for physically endowed, athletically superior men and women. Tinkham was and remains a man who cares about his community. “Indianapolis had nothing downtown and we built a new 18,000-seat arena. It opened in 1975 and that was the beginning of the buildup of the downtown area.” Tinkham said sort of matter-of-factly.One would be surprised when he was asked how he would like to be remembered after his journey on earth was completed. His answer did not just completely allude to sports. “My wife and I have had a hunger relief program for 26 years in downtown Indianapolis. I would like to be remembered as just a citizen who loved being a part of the community and contributed to professional sports. Also, I would like to be remembered as contributing socially through this hunger program.”In my opinion, Richard P. Tinkham along with his football counterpart Dan Rooney of the Steelers, should have been canonized and cast in bronze decades ago. Boys and girls, listen to a call from the wild. It is always better, better, late than never.(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: [email protected]­pittsburghcourier.com or 412-583-6741.)last_img read more

Resource Discovery: Universal Design for Learning

first_imgEarlier this week, Lakshmi Mahadevan, Ph.D. presented on “Advocating for Universal Design for Learning in Classrooms.”Throughout the presentation, Dr. Mahadevan provided many examples of the different principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – Representation, Action and Expression, and Engagement. To watch a recording of this webinar please click here – Advocating for Universal Design for Learning in Classrooms.This presentation provided resources to help participants better understand what UDL is, and ways in which parents/guardians and students can self-advocate for UDL to be incorporated in classrooms. 1.  A Parent’s Guide to Universal Design for Learning (UDL): This resource from the National Center for Learning Disabilities was designed to give parents and guardians a better understanding of the background and benefits of UDL, a breakdown of the three UDL principles, as well as information on how UDL and Assistive Technology and Accommodations can work hand-in-hand. 2.  Universal Design for Learning Checklist: Mahadevan’s printable checklists helps parents, guardians, and educators identify which UDL practices they are currently using, which UDL strategies they would like additional training on, and which UDL practices they would like to add to their current instruction. Additional resources were provided with the presentation and can be found at Universal Design for Learning Resources.Another great place to learn about available resources is our Successful Transition for Students with Special Needs: What Resources are Available to You webinar presented by Dr. Mahadevan earlier this year.This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on December 1, 2017.last_img read more

Mens Lacrosse No 15 Ohio State to try and continue early season

Ohio State then-sophomore attack Tre Leclaire calls plays to his team during the first half of Ohio State’s 8-5 victory against Michigan on April 13, 2018. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Editor In ChiefNo. 15 Ohio State and Boston University both have something in common heading into Saturday’s matchup: they both have goalkeepers coming off career games. The Terriers junior goalkeeper Joe McSorley comes in off a career-high 24 saves in the first game of the season against Providence, while Ohio State redshirt sophomore goalkeeper John Kirson added 16 saves against Cleveland State. Heading into Saturday’s contest, No. 15 Ohio State (1-0) and Boston University (1-0) will have to make the most of the opportunities given to them, especially with the goalie play for both teams in the first game. “I think for a shooting perspective, we have to do a really good job,” Ohio State head coach Nick Myers said. “It’s something we’ve talked a lot about with coach [Brad] Ross and the staff.”Myers said the Ohio State defense will have to be one that supports each other, making sure the defenders limit the shots that get to the goalie. The Buckeyes opened their season with a 12-9 season-opening victory against Cleveland State, in which both senior midfield Jack Jasinski and junior attack/midfield Tre Leclaire recorded three goals. Ohio State senior midfield captain Logan Maccani said the energy has been high in practices since the first win of the season. “We’ve had a really good week, the energy was high, we were pumped coming off of our first win, but we know there is still room for a lot of improvement,” Maccani said. “We talked a lot about our leaders being energy givers, so that’s one of those things that our leaders have focused on these last few weeks, coming out and starting fast.” In Saturday’s match against Boston University, the Buckeyes will have to focus on sophomore attack Chris Gray, last year’s Patriot League Rookie of the Year who, like Jasinski and Leclaire, is coming off a three-goal performance last week against Providence.Ohio State will have to focus on Boston sophomore attacker Chris Gray. Gray was the Patriot League Rookie of the Year a season ago, and is coming off a three-goal performance in the team’s opener against Providence.“With the dangerous transition game, they present a lot of challenges,” Myers said. “They’re well coached, and they’ve been out here before. This is the second year coming out here, and we’re excited for what should be a great game Saturday.” After a sell-out crowd in the season opener, Ohio State will try and continue to use the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as an advantage. The Buckeyes have never lost inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, winning all 23 games played in the venue.“We really really want to protect this space, but ultimately we’re just going to go out there and do as we’re taught and follow the scheme and things should handle themselves out,” Maccani said.Ohio State will take on Boston University at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center at noon on Saturday. read more

Moyes Arnautovic is a different class

first_imgDavid Moyes has praised the impact of Marko Arnautovic in the West-Ham squad after the Austrian’s man-of-the-match display in the win over Everton.Arnautovic was in excellent form in the game as he assisted Andriy Yarmolenko before wrapping up the win with his third league goal of the season at Goodison ParkHowever, Moyes who worked with the former Stoke City hitman was impressed by his performance and believes the 29-year-old will be instrumental in West-Ham’s campaign.“This guy is different class Marko, he really is,” said the former West Ham manager. “He links it up and gets the finish (for West Ham’s third goal).“Marko at the moment is just showing the difference between winning and losing at times.”declan rice, england, West ham UnitedReport: England’s Rice gets death threats George Patchias – September 9, 2019 England International Declan Rice has received death threats.Rice a one time Ireland International, switched allegiances only this year. The West Ham United man played for…“Since he became a forward player, he saw it as part of his job (to score goals),” he said. “You saw his goal, but the run in behind for their first goal, he is a threat.“If he played for Everton today, Everton would have won the game because every time, especially in the first half, Everton looked to play into Cenk Tosun. And I thought they lost the ball and the first goal comes from it.“Whereas anything that got played into Marko today, he set it, laid it, he spun in behind, he went again. He makes the first goal that way, he makes the second goal that way.“So I think if he had been playing for the opposition today, he would have been a real handful for anybody.”last_img read more

Virgin Atlantic expands airlift to Barbados

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Barbados, January 17, 2018 – In December, Barbados had some really good news.  A new flight, another linking the Caribbean country to the United Kingdom.  Virgin Atlantic’s VS 131 from London Heathrow will continue until March with weekly commutes and proving said the Tourism Minister, Alvin Jemmott that Barbados is an attractive place for visitor from Britain.Photo credit: LOOP News Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img

ExxonMobil Enters Preliminary Gas Agreement With AGDC

first_imgDNR commissioner Andy Mack: “This agreement continues to demand that our resources at Point Thomson are developed to the maximum benefit of all Alaskans, and also aligns the state and industry in a new way as the Alaska LNG Project advances.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享ExxonMobil, announced today, that the company has agreed to enter into a preliminary deal to sell its natural gas to the Alaska LNG project. State officials said the details of the agreement with ExxonMobil, including terms for price and volume, are confidential. According to a release from the AGDC it anticipates purchasing ExxonMobil’s share of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas from the two fields. Point Thomson contains approximately 25 percent of the North Slope’s discovered natural gas resources. The Gas Sales Precedent Agreement was signed by the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. and ExxonMobil, while a Letter of Understanding was signed by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, ExxonMobil and BP to “better align the Point Thomson field production timeline with the Alaska LNG project, which is run by AGDC.”last_img read more