Ten Freed to Home Confinement Under First Step Act

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Hassan Nemazee, a 69-year-old man convicted of bank fraud left a federal prison camp in Cumberland, Md., three weeks ago and moved into a friend’s apartment in Manhattan. He was one of the early inmates to benefit from the First Step Act, the New York Times reports. Nemazee, a wealthy investor, donated heavily to Democratic political causes. He was a national finance chairman for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Barack Obama’s first presidential contest.

Nemazee acknowledged he was not a fan of President Trump, but he felt indebted to the president and his aides for pushing through “the most significant prison reform legislation in a generation.” Nemazee left prison under a section of the bill that allows certain offenders who are over 60 and not considered a threat to others to be released into home confinement if they have completed two-thirds of their sentence. Nemazee does not wear an ankle bracelet, but officials may call him on a landline late at night or early in the morning to verify he is at home. He may be summoned for a urine test at any time and must submit his weekly schedule for approval. He may leave his apartment to go to work, the gym, religious services or appointments with his doctors and lawyers. He may go out to lunch, “which is always a treat, given where I have been the last eight and a half years.” The Bureau of Prisons said that since the bill’s passage, 10 prisoners — of 23 thus far deemed eligible — have been released into home confinement. The bureau would not identify the prisoners or comment on their cases.

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