This does not bode well for Keith Alan Raniere.
Yesterday, we reported that Raniere’s attorneys had asked Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to recommend that Raniere be assigned to a prison with a special or sensitive needs unit [aka a drop-out yard] a place where prisoners who are in danger if they are placed in the general population because of their crimes or celebrity can live in the comparative safety under protective custody with other like prisoners.
It is far better than solitary confinement. See: Attorneys Asks That Raniere Be Assigned to Prison With ‘Drop-out Yard’ For His Safety
The judge declined to make this recommendation for Raniere.
His Order reads, “The court respectfully declines to make a recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) regarding the designation of the Defendant. However, defense counsel may contact the BOP’s Designation & Sentence Computation Center to identify any concerns it has regarding an appropriate facility for the Defendant. The Designation & Sentence Computation Center is located at 346 Marine Forces Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75051, and can be contacted at 972-352-4400 and GRA-DSC/PolicyCorrespondence@bop.gov. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 11/4/2020. (Gurian, Nico) (Entered: 11/04/2020).”
This is bad news for Raniere because it almost certainly ensures he is going to the Florence, Colorado Supermax.
What are the choices? The BOP can assign him to a maximum-security prison, but his attorneys admit he will be in grave danger there. It can assign him to a prison with a drop-out yard where he will be with other at-risk prisoners and, hence, somewhat protected – but the judge has not made any such recommendation. Or the BOP can assign him to a prison where he’ll spend most of his time in solitary – a cruel and lonely condition but safe from other prisoners.
By the judge not agreeing to make a recommendation suggests he is displeased with Raniere and his followers.
Raniere has instructed his followers to
- Dance in front of the MDC prison where he is being held.
- Do a podcast series alleging the prosecution committed misconduct.
- M ake sure that the judge knows he is being watched.
- Take an affidavit to prosecutors asking them to sign it, stating whether they committed misconduct
- Create a ‘Challenge,’ a contest that would award $10,000 to every contestant who could identify errors that Judge Garaufis made before, during, and after Keith’s trial.
None of this was going to win points with the judge.
The judge is also under the impression that Raniere, using Clare Bronfman’s money, is waging a public relations campaign to smear him. He said at Raniere’s sentencing, prior to handing Raniere a 120-year prison term, that Raniere “and his counsel, funded by an unlimited war chest courtesy of co-conspirator Clare Bronfman, are engaged in a public relations campaign to cast doubt on the integrity of the judicial system and the jury verdict.”
He added, “Ultimately, Mr. Raniere’s lack of remorse, coupled with his view that the conduct for which he was convicted was actually ‘noble,’ strongly suggests the need for a significant sentence.”
It was Raniere’s actions, carried out through his followers which has sealed his fate. If he had kept quiet, or acted respectfully, he might have gotten a 20-year sentence – and perhaps a chance at being assigned to some reasonable prison facility.
Now, he is almost certainly headed to a bad place. At a maximum-security prison, his life will be in danger from other inmates, some of whom will not be shy in hurting a child sex predator.
If he goes to the supermax, he will be in isolation – 23 hours per day in a 7×12 cell.
And one hour per day, he gets to go to a 20’x30′ room to exercise. For three years, he will be in total isolation, seeing no one. Even his food will be brought to him between two locking doors so that he will not even see the guard.
He will only be able to make one phone call per month – for 15 minutes – and visitors may not be allowed for years. It will be extremely difficult for his attorneys to communicate with him. And his followers will not be permitted to dance outside the prison compound.
Meantime, his attorneys filed a notice of appeal of his conviction. It will take more than a year for it to be heard, once the appeal is filed. It may take several months to prepare the appeal.
It remains unclear how long Raniere will remain at MDC, where he has been since April 2018.
Given the attitude of the judge and the reasonable assumption that the prosecution feels the same way, the Bureau of Prisons officials in Grand Prairie are almost certainly going to adopt a similar attitude:
Their reasoning might go something like this:
Raniere is notorious. His crimes warrant a max security prison or supermax. His attorneys claimed he will be in danger in the general population at a max security facility – and requested he be assigned to a prison with a drop-out yard. The judge declined to recommend a drop-out yard. If he goes to a max security prison and is killed, [because he is so famous/infamous], it will look very bad for the BOP. He is, therefore, qualified only for the supermax.