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Seriously Ill Federal Prisoners Freed As Compassionate Release Law Takes Effect

March 15, 2019, Carrie Johnson - NPR

Last October, a federal prisoner named Richard Evans noticed a suspicious mass in his neck. He reported the condition to prison officials in Louisiana. Nothing happened.

Evans, 74, is a former doctor who was convicted of conspiracy, fraud and distributing oxycodone and hydrocodone. He received a five-year sentence.

On Thursday afternoon, about 22 months into his prison term, Evans was freed on compassionate release — the result of a new law that allows inmates with serious illnesses to make their pleas to a federal judge if the Federal Bureau of Prisons fails to act.

Evans took his case to U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, who found that Evans had presented "extraordinary and compelling reasons" justifying a reduction in his sentence.

The judge acted within only a few days of the prisoner's request, reducing Evans' penalty to the time he'd already served and ordering a three-year term of supervised release.

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