Friday, April 03, 2020

All jury trials and grand jury proceedings continued until July 6 (UPDATED WITH BARR MEMO)

The court issued another corona-order today, postponing all jury trials and grand jury proceedings until July 6.  The order is not up on the website yet, but I will link to it as soon as it is.

UPDATE Friday (4/3) evening — AG Bill Barr issued this memo, urging the release of at-risk prisoners to home confinement.  Serious question to the prosecutors who read the blog — why are so many prosecutors stridently opposing the requests?

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

BOP to Phase 5 — full lockdown

Here’s the update from BOP:
Today, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) ordered the implementation of Phase 5 of its COVID-19 Action Plan, effective tomorrow, April 1, 2020. In response to a growing number of quarantine and isolation cases in our facilities, the BOP will take the following actions immediately to further mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19. 
  • For a 14-day period, inmates in every institution will be secured in their assigned cells/quarters to decrease the spread of the virus. This modification to our action plan is based on health concerns, not disruptive inmate behavior.
  • During this time, to the extent practicable, inmates should still have access to programs and services that are offered under normal operating procedures, such as mental health treatment and education.
  • In addition, the Bureau is coordinating with the United States Marshals Service (USMS) to significantly decrease incoming movement during this time.
  • After 14 days, this decision will be reevaluated and a decision made as to whether or not to return to modified operations.
  • Limited group gathering will be afforded to the extent practical to facilitate commissary, laundry, showers, telephone, and Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System (TRULINCS) access.
Starting in January 2020, the BOP implemented its Pandemic Influenza contingency plan, modified as an Action Plan for COVID-19. The BOP continues to revise and update its action plan in response to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to the latest guidance from experts at the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Monday, March 30, 2020

News & Notes

1.  Our District continues to shut down operations.  No more grand juries until April 27.  And, in general, no more in person hearings in criminal cases for 90 days. Video conferencing instead.  For pleas and sentencings, defendants can opt for continuances or video hearings.

2.   In California, Elizabeth Henriquez will proceed to her sentencing in the Varsity Blues case by video conference.

3. The 11th Circuit is in session this week, but it will be conducting oral argument by teleconference (not video). You can listen live here. I will be arguing on Friday. Should be interesting.

4. BOP suffered its first prisoner death over the weekend. Patrick Jones was 49 at FCI Oakdale in Louisiana. He had applied for a sentence reduction under the First Step Act but was denied. I wonder how prosecutors who are opposing these motions will feel when these people get sick and die in prison.

5. Okay, okay, enough with the bad news. Some good news! Former SDFLA AUSA Michael Sherwin, who has been working as Associate Deputy Attorney General on national security matters, has been named Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney in DC. It's a big deal. Congrats to one of the good guys!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Good news re David Lat!

He's off the ventilator, thank goodness!  And he's even posting on social media:
I don’t want to be presumptuous, since my condition is stable but still serious. I require 24/7 oxygen, I need a nurse’s help for even the simplest tasks, and I only just now progressed to solid foods. So I’m not out of the proverbial woods yet. A number of patients released from the hospital after seemingly successful fights with #Covid19 aka #coronavirus have been readmitted (and some of these patients have even died).
At the same time, I do have some good news to share (especially since a bunch of “fake news” websites in the Philippines have issued reports of my death - greatly exaggerated, I can assure you).
First, I was just transferred out of the ICU - to a floor that’s not nearly as nice, but the transfer bodes well because they save ICU beds for the sickest patients. Second, I’m doing worlds better than I was this time last time last week, when I was unconscious and intubated, having a machine breathe for me because I couldn’t do so myself.
I also don’t want to be ungrateful. And no matter how my story ends, I know that I will be forever thankful for all of the prayers and thoughts that you have sent me and my family over the past few weeks. I will also be eternally grateful to all the wonderful doctors, nurses, and other dedicated healthcare professionals who are on the front lines of our battle with #Covid19 aka #Coronavirus, here at NYU Langone Health and elsewhere.
As mentioned earlier, I’m not out of the woods yet. But I’m upbeat and optimistic, strengthened by all your thoughts, prayers, and wishes for a speedy recovery.
Much as my parents love looking after Harlan - grandparents are the babysitters who thank YOU at the end of the experience - I look forward to checking out of here before too long and being reunited with Harlan, Zach, my family, my-in-laws, and all of you, my dear friends and loved ones. Thank you once again for everything, and see you soon!
With Much Love,
What a great update. Here's to a speedy recovery!