The court dismissed the individual's habeas petition under § 2241 on procedural grounds but made the recommendation that he be released into a Residential Reentry Center (RRC) for the maximum time allowable under BOP guidelines "in light of the COVID-19 pandemic." The petitioner was convicted of multiple drug crimes and was sentenced to 135 months in 2014, with his release set to be in September 2022. The petitioner requested relief on the grounds that he was eligible for release into an RRC under BOP guidelines, but when “confronted with a copy of the statute and BOP [Bureau of Prison] directive, BOP Staff members have chosen to ignore the dictates of Congress to consider the nature of the [p]etitioner’s offense, [p]etitioner’s history, and pertinent characteristics.” The court ruled that it did not have the authority under § 3624(c) to grant such a request, as the BOP has exclusive authority in determining whether or not an incarcerated individual meets the criteria for placement in an RRC or home confinement in such a context. However, the court made the non-binding recommendation that he be released because of his successful rehabilitation during the course of his sentence, including participation in the BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”), and given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sykes v. United States, No. 5:20-cv-442, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107671 (N.D. Ohio June 19, 2020)
Multiple drug offenses including "conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute heroin"
Motions Partially Granted
The court made a non-binding recommendation to be placed in a Residential Reentry Center for the longest period deemed appropriate under BOP guidelines. However, the court stated it had no authority to issue a binding order to make the BOP release the petitioner to an RRC for the maximum time possible.
COVID-19 Positive or Symptomatic
COVID-19 in Jail Prison or Detention Center
Crowdsourced legal documents from around the country related to COVID-19 and incarceration, organized, collected, and summarized for public defenders, litigators, and other advocates. Created and managed by Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, and Zealous. Mostly federal court opinions, but now expanding to states and legal filings, declarations, and exhibits.
This resource is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists, and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that Covid-19 poses to individuals who are detained.