More Commutations: Rare Federal Not-Guilty Jury Verdict;
Law School BOP
Ninety eight more federal prisoners got good news in the past week that their sentences had been commuted, although most had conditions of drug education attached to the shortened sentences. Nonetheless, any reduction of the draconian sentences of the past twenty years is good news. There will be more to come.
One recent not-guilty jury verdict caught our eye, the case of the non-violent federal lands standoff by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, who had been charged with possession of firearms in a federal facility and conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs at the Malheur Nation Wildlife Refuse, 300 miles southeast of
Of the 26 occupiers charged with conspiracy, eleven pleaded guilty, one had his charges dropped, and seven chose to be tried at different times. It is extremely rare for any conspiracy defendant in a case with multiple defendants to be found not guilty. Perhaps the increasing lack of faith in government officials was a factor in the jury's not-guilty verdict.
Finally, Yale Law School, the alma mater of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as other luminaries, has sent a letter to the Bureau of Prisons requesting an end to the long-standing policy of limiting phone minutes to 300 minutes a month, except for holiday months.
own written policy that it recognizes the importance of maintaining
relationships during incarceration, Yale was sharply critical of a " BOP
policy (that) is deeply misguided." We write to ask that the Bureau
...rescind the 300-minute limit on telephone access." Also signing the
letter was Paul Wright, Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center,
the parent organization of Prison Legal News.