The facility is in quarantine status.
Even more alarming, just 10 days before Judge Jackson denied Stone’s request to delay his date to report to the prison, another federal judge ordered the release of a convicted sex offender and child pornographer from that same prison, based on undisputed, front line, first-hand evidence of the dramatic risks of exposure to the COVID-19 virus at that very prison.
The evidence is that even the most fundamental protections, like wearing masks and social distancing are nowhere in evidence and the prison staff comes and goes from outside the prison each day, in a state with record-number reported cases of COVID-19 spiking each day.
Stone wants his report date to be moved from July 14, 2020 to September 3, 2020 because Stone’s incarceration at this time poses a life-threatening risk. He is at considerable risk from serious health consequences, including death, if his surrender date is not extended.
The Department of Justice has a policy, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, not to oppose a defendant’s request to extend a voluntary surrender date for up to 60 days, unless the defendant poses an immediate public safety or flight risk. The government does not oppose Stone’s motion to extend his surrender date until September 3, 2020.
Courts across the country have recognized the serious risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and have extended surrender dates. Courts around the country have even granted bail in cases in which defendants with lengthy criminal histories, dangerousness, and more serious offenses, based on COVID-19 and the risk it poses.
Stone would face, in the close confines of a BOP facility, based on his age and medical conditions, a very good chance of dying.
His doctor, Dr. Islon Woolf, in a letter dated June 17, 2020, wrote to the court that Stone’s medical conditions make the consequences of his exposure to COVID-19 in a prison facility life-threatening.
His doctor recommends the following:
“I highly recommend that he maintain strict quarantine conditions . He should not be in any situations that would expose him to the SARS-COV-2 virus. He needs to maintain at least 6 feet distance from people. He should avoid closed quarters with many people. He must completely avoid exposure to people with high rates of infections. He needs to avoid shared facilities like shared bathrooms. In my opinion, I do not see how any of these conditions could be met in prison. I am concerned for his health.”
In addition, Dr. Woolf states that Stone’s age, combined with his serious medical conditions “significantly increase[es] his risk of COVID-19, COVID-19 complications, and COVID-19 death.”
Ignoring Dr. Woolf’s medical opinion, Judge Jackson suggests that Stone would not be in danger given that his condition is “medically controlled” and that there are currently no reported COVID-19 cases at Jesup, which is factually wrong.
The judge makes no allowance for the fact that Stone’s medical conditions require close monitoring and strict compliance with the directions of his physician, to remain controlled within a BOP facility.
Making Stone report to prison in the height of the pandemic, notwithstanding his documented health problems, which his physician believes place him at heightened risk not only of infection and complications from infection, but of death is an astonishing injustice.
What if he were to die in prison, when all kinds of prisoners and convicts are being released or whose surrender is delayed?
Stone represents no danger to society. What is the rush to put him behind bars during a pandemic?
Finally, if he were to die, whose fault would it be?
The highly partisan Judge Amy Berman Jackson or Pres. Donald Trump who ought to have pardoned him by now.
Both would be to blame, in my opinion.