Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort will not be happy with this result. They were among thousands of federal prison inmates who were to be released from custody into home detention due to the coronavirus spreading throughout the prison population. Cohen and Manafort had undergone pre-release quarantine and were planning on going home. However, on Monday the policy was changed and inmates who had not served at least half of their sentence are now not eligible for early release. Manafort has served 22 months of a seven and a half year sentence and Cohen has served 11 months of a three year sentence. Politico:
A federal prosecutor in New York also confirmed the shift to a court Tuesday, drawing the ire of a judge for contradicting the position the government took just three days earlier.
However, shortly after this article was published Tuesday, a Justice Department spokesman suggested yet another course correction and indicated that officials at the Bureau of Prisons were confused or given inaccurate guidance about previous directives from Attorney General William Barr.
“The Department confirmed to BOP this afternoon that the BOP has discretion under the Attorney General’s Memoranda on March 26 and April 3 regarding which home confinement cases are appropriate for review in order to fight the spread of the pandemic,” the Justice Department statement said. “BOP will proceed expeditiously consistent with that confirmation.” […[
“I find myself baffled at the ineptness, if not the downright cruelty displayed by the BOP,” Kevin Ring of sentencing reform group FAMM, formerly known as Families Against Mandatory Minimums, wrote in a letter to Barr and BOP Director Michael Carvajal. “To have the promise of early release snatched away under these circumstances is simply inexcusable. … Transparency would go a long way to allaying confusion and fear.”
Confusion is right, although chaos seems a more appropriate word. Just one more example of what a fine tuned machine this administration is.