Federal prison officials have shut down rumors of the early prison release for a former mayor of Detroit serving 28 years for various degrees of corruption including racketeering, extortion and fraud.
Kwame Kilpatrick will not be getting out of prison after serving just seven years, the Bureau of Prisons announced on Tuesday night. Reports began circulating on Friday claiming that the disgraced former mayor of Detroit was going to be released from the Federal Correctional Complex Oakdale prison in Louisiana after a coronavirus outbreak there.
Because it is a minimum-security prison, the reports seemed somewhat plausible but still not completely believable considering Kilpatrick would have served a small fraction of his sentence. The scenario presented to the media was that Kilpatrick would be released and serve out the remainder of his sentence at his mother’s home in Georgia. The reports came from apparent valid sources like Michigan state representatives Sherry Gay-Dagnogo and Karen Whitsett, who the Detroit Free-Press reported had personally appealed to President Donald Trump on Kilpatrick’s behalf.
The ex-husband of Kilpatrick’s sister also said his former in-law would be released, claiming to have seen an email from Kilpatrick himself exulting in the news.
Alas, none of that turned out to be true.
“On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the federal Bureau of Prisons reviewed and denied inmate Kwame Kilpatrick for home confinement,” the Bureau of Prisons said in a brief statement. “Mr. Kilpatrick remains incarcerated at the federal correctional institution in Oakdale, Louisiana.”
The prison housing Kilpatrick has made no secret about COVID-19 infiltrating its walls and infecting prisoners and correctional staff alike. It has also been under intense scrutiny for its response to the pandemic.
After having stopped testing its inmates who were exhibiting symptoms in March because of what the prison called “sustained transmission,” it resumed offering the testing this month. Previously, some corrections officers sued the prison over claims they were not offered personal protective equipment like masks and gloves despite being exposed to inmates who had tested positive for the virus.
The news that Kilpatrick would not be released came shortly after it was reported that treasonous former associates of the president would be able to serve out the remainder of their prison sentences from home over coronavirus concerns in the correction facilities they were being held in.
Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager who was convicted on tax fraud and money laundering charges, waltzed out of prison on May 13. Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney who pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, tax charges and campaign finance charges centered on paying hush money to women claiming sexual relationships with Trump, left prison last Thursday. Both were allowed to serve the remainder of their prison sentences from home confinement.
While neither Manafort nor Cohen was sentenced to nearly as long as Kilpatrick was, critics said their releases show how unfair the prison system is.
One woman whose daughter was denied early release despite serving over half of her sentence for a nonviolent drug offense told NBC News the disparity was hard to ignore for her.
“I’m happy for him don’t get me wrong,” Melissa Ketter told NBC News about Cohen. “But at the same time it was like, the rich white guy gets out early. I don’t wish for bad things to happen to these people, but it’s like can everybody be treated the same?”