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Prison Release Under First Step Act

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HOUSTON, March 14, 2019 — In one of the first cases of its kind, this week Judge Kenneth Hoyt in Houston ordered “compassionate release” from prison under the First Step Act — a new law that took effect last year. 

Richard Evans, age 74, was 22 months through a 5-year sentence at the Oakdale Federal Prison for a health care fraud conviction in Texas.  Last October, he reported a 2-centimeter mass in his neck to his jailers.  It has since grown to a 5-inch malignant melanoma.  

Under the old law, a prisoner with a life-threatening illness had to ask the Bureau of Prisons for early release, and Evans did so without success.  But now prisoners can go to court when BOP refuses.  Evans’ legal team showed that the condition was life threatening and that BOP was ill equipped to treat it.   According to our search, Evans will be the first prisoner to win release under the new law.

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Evans’ lawyers explained: If we did not have the court option, our client would die in prison.  Instead, we had an independent judge and fair-minded prosecutor … and the new law worked.  We are very grateful – this is why you go to law school.”

Evans is represented by David Gerger, Samy Khalil, and Ashlee McFarlane of Gerger Khalil & Hennessy LLP in Houston. 

SOURCE Gerger Khalil & Hennessy LLP

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