It is well documented here that we think Tom Buck got a ridiculously raw deal. Sure, there may be details that we aren’t aware of, but getting a 40 month prison term for what amounts to charging commissions versus wrap fees is absurd (and maybe a little unauthorized trading on the side). Yes, absurd.
Be that as it may, Mr. Buck still finds himself in prison and looking for ways to come home. As COVID-19 has swept its way across the country, prison populations have been hardest hit. Practicing social distancing isn’t something that works well in packed facilities.
As a 66 year old man Mr. Buck is at higher risk of contracting the virus, while also dealing with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. He’s formally requested an early release based on these concerns.
The early release request was covered by multiple media reports:
“Buck has been a “model prisoner” who takes yoga classes, has raised a puppy to be a service dog and is a clerk in the prison labor program, his court petition said. He also has participated in a prison course on residential re-release among other classes, it said.”
“The early-release request in court follows an April petition with the federal Bureau of Prisons. He has not received a response to one made last month after U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered the bureau to prioritize early release of older convicts in Ohio, Connecticut and Louisiana prisons where Covid-19 outbreaks were virulent, according to this week’s filing.”
It seems that Buck has since passed the halfway point in his federal sentence, allowing him to qualify for the above order from U.S. Attorney General William Barr. But the wheels of justice move notoriously slow – and that lack of speed works both ways. Mr. Buck was able to push back his entry into the system multiple times before ultimately succumbing.
The guess here is that these appeals won’t be rushed and could take a few months to be decided on. Given the overall health concerns posed by COVID-19, that reality could prove deadly.