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Johansi Lopez Avoids Federal Lockup As SDNY Judge Rakoff Cites Coronavirus and Compassion

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Decrypt - LightRead - Honduras - Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 23 --   Johansi Lopez faces a five year mandatory minimum sentence when he is sentenced on charges involving robbing drug dealers.

His sentencing is scheduled for June 11 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff. But on March 23 the argument before Judge Rakoff was whether to send him to prison until then.

   Federal Defender Christopher Flood emphasized the mounting threat of Coronavirus COVID-19 in the Federal jails. Assistant US Attorney Dominic Gentile countered that so far only three federal prisoners, out of 175,400, have tested positive.

   Judge Rakoff said outside the walls, 400 are already dead. He opined that Lopez deserves time with his family, his wife and young daughter, before going away for five years, saying that separating families is not the kind of law he wants to be part of imposing.   

He ruled that Lopez is not a flight risk, and freed him to home incarceration, while declining Floods' request that Lopez be allowed offer training while under home incarceration. The case is US v. Lopez, 19-cr-323 (Rakoff).  


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