Compassionate Release And Medical Furlough Of Inmates Due To COVID-19

Rapper Tekashi69 is released early from prison due to an effort to stem coronavirus outbreak risks at jails and prisons. How does this work, and will more prisoners get released? Joe Vega of WIZN 106.7 is on the radio with Attorney Ben Barry of Martin, Harding and Mazzotti discussing the issue. Please give it a listen or read the transcript below.

Joe: 106.7 WIZN. That is Pearl Jam and Alive. Heard Led Zeppelin before that. Joe Vega here with you on your Wednesday Rocking Ride home. And I’m joined now by Ben Barry from Martin Harding & Mazzotti. Hello Ben.

Ben: Hello Joe.

Joe: So a question for you in regards to this story coming out. It’s about the rapper Tekashi69, who’s in prison and about to get released due to the coronavirus. I think he’s in prison for, is it murder?

Ben: Well, two things. I believe that he has already been released under the compassionate release program. And he was sentenced to two years for racketeering I believe.

Joe: Racketeering. Okay. All right. So now, how does this work? Are there a lot of prisoners that are going to get released?

Ben: There have been prisoners that have been released for what’s called, again, compassionate release or medical furlough, because of the coronavirus outbreak, and also other factors that include the amount of time that those particular inmates have left to serve, and also their particular medical circumstances. The federal courts and the state courts are not releasing inmates because of the COVID outbreak alone. The compassionate release and the medical furloughs, from my understanding, is that, at least at the federal level, have to have some other combination of facts that will allow the inmate to be released early. I know that Bill Cosby and the rapper R. Kelly have also petitioned the court for early release. However, they still have long terms to serve, and those petitions did not have other facts that would have led the judge to permit that early release. And so my understanding is that those petitions have been denied.

Joe: Okay. Well thanks for the info, Ben.

Ben: Thank you, Joe. Stay safe.

Joe: Remember you can call Ben at any time at 1-800-LAW-1010, or go online to Mel Allen taking over from here. He’s got music from Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, and the Stone Temple Pilots next.

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