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Stone appeals denial of prison delay over coronavirus fears

Erik Larson, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

Republican operative Roger Stone asked a federal appeals court to delay the start of his prison term until Sept. 3 from July 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic, after the trial judge denied his earlier request.

Stone, sentenced to 40 months behind bars for lying to Congress during the Russia investigation, filed an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Monday seeking to overturn the decision last month by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who said Stone must be treated like every other felon.

Current conditions inside federal prisons would "render Stone at grave risk of serious complications if infected with Covid-19," according to the appeals court filing.

Jackson extended Stone's surrender date by two weeks and ordered him to remain confined to his home during that time. But Stone said on Monday he needed the full amount of time he requested to minimize the potential health risks he'd face from being locked up during the pandemic.

The government didn't oppose Stone's request, which cites his age, 67, and an underlying medical condition that could put him at greater risk if he contracted the virus. Jackson noted that in similar cases the Justice Department had opposed so-called compassionate release from jails where there isn't yet an outbreak, even when an inmate older than Stone had the same condition.

 

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