Thursday, February 2nd, 2012 |
Donald is well-known in the camp as the visitation room photographer, barber and all-around great guy. A few weeks ago, Donald received a letter from an attorney stating that the attorney was appointed to represent him in a reduction of his sentence due to changes in the drug sentencing law. Donald ignored the letter thinking he had already received any reduction he was entitled to.
He called his mother to have her talk to the attorney after he received a second letter. Sure enough, this was a possibility for a new reduction. The attorney filed a motion with the court asking for immediate release about two weeks ago. Donald and I have been praying for his immediate release since he got this news. Donald visited me in my cube on Sunday night to talk over some things. He showed me a copy of the motion, gave me a haircut and an item which he thought I could use. I think he was expecting to hear something definitive very shortly.
Apparently, the court order for his immediate release was faxed to the Camp first thing on Monday morning. Donald was being constantly paged to either see the case manager or the camp secretary shortly thereafter. This is typically an indication that the inmate is going home. Donald was working off-facility at the time. I have no clue why the case manager or secretary didn’t look at his work schedule after the first unanswered page. They should have known that he had a Unicor job.
Donald came back to the premises for lunch when he found out the good news. I saw him shortly thereafter saying good-byes to everyone. He told me that he was searching me out because he didn’t want to miss saying good-bye. Donald told me that his mother was on the road and would be at the camp shortly.
Immediate release ordered by the court means exactly that. BOP will do everything in its ability to get an inmate out of the premises asap. I believe they are legally required to release no later than midnight no matter when they receive the court order. We have been seeing a lot of immediate releases lately because of the crack law changes.
Donald had been “down” for more than 17 years. He was originally given a sentence of 40 years, but received a couple of reductions over the years related to the particulars of his case. If the crack law changes were made a few years ago, he would have been released 16 months ago. He was expecting to be released in 22 months, which is a fleeting time compared to 17 years. Donald saw every type of BOP installation in his 17 years including a U.S. Penitentiary (the worst of the worst, and sometimes referred to a “gladiator school”). high/medium, medium, FMC (medical center), low and camp. He has seen a lot of things happen during that period, and always had good advice for me.
Donald was blessed in other ways recently which I previously wrote about. He was recently reconciled with his only daughter in November and saw his grandson for the first time in five years earlier in January. Donald has a good heart. I am sure he will do well on the outside. The world has changed significantly in 17 years, and he will need a lot of adjustment. As happy as I am for him, I will miss him. I wish him well.