Court Voids Federal Prison Early-Release Policy


A Federal Bureau of Prisons policy excluding murderers, rapists, and others with violent crimes on their record from an early-release program is invalid because authorities have failed to explain why those inmates are ineligible, says a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The decision ordered a reconsideration of an application for sentence reduction from Jerry Crickon, a federal prisoner in a California halfway house due for release in six months. Crickon, convicted of drug offenses in 2000, was offered a drug rehabilitation program two years ago but was told that, because of a 1970 voluntary manslaughter conviction, he wasn’t eligible for the one-year sentence reduction other inmates could get. Lawyers for prisoners and the federal government couldn’t immediately say how broadly it might affect early-release program eligibility for the federal incarceration network holding 207,000 inmates.

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