Gwen Levi, a 76-year-old lung cancer survivor, and caretaker for her 94-year-old mother served 16 years of a 24-year sentence for conspiracy to sell at least one kilogram of heroin before being released to home confinement last year. Levi was one of 4,500 nonviolent and elderly inmates released under the Trump administration under the CARES Act to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Since then her attorneys say the grandmother’s kept her head down and is enriching her life, in part by volunteering at prison advocacy organizations, where she aspired to get a paying job. She’s also been busy taking a computer word processing class, one that apparently landed her back in handcuffs.
The Washington Post reports that Levy was recently in class but didn’t answer her phone so the feds listed her as an “escape.”
She was then promptly shipped back to prison, something Levi’s lawyer is calling “ridiculous.” The lawyer added that authorities justified their actions with a shocking comment about a bank robbery.
“She’s been in a Washington D.C. jail pending transfer to a federal facility since June 12. “There’s no question she was in class,” her lawyer, Sapna Mirchandani, said to The Washington Post. “As I was told, because she could have been robbing a bank, they’re going to treat her as if she was robbing a bank.”
Robbing a bank??? Really???
Levi who’s been back behind bars since June 12 is devastated and told The Washington Post that she genuinely was in class when authorities labeled her an escape. Authorities said Levi’s ankle monitor showed that she wasn’t home at 10:51 a.m. and her whereabouts were unknown until 1:17 p.m.
“I feel like I was attempting to do all the right things,” Levi said through her attorney. “Breaking rules is not who I am. I tried to explain what happened, and to tell the truth. At no time did I think I wasn’t supposed to go to that class. I apologize to my mother and my family for what this is doing to them.”
Naturally, people are urging President Biden to step in and grant Ms. Levi clemency. Moreover, they want him to make good on his criminal justice reform promises.
Relatedly, FAMM [Families Against Mandatory Minimums], the ACLU, and the Justice Action Network are also urging Biden to step in for other people living in home confinement who could be sent back to federal prison.
According to the orgs, the Trump Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel issued a memo” erroneously finding that people vetted by prison officials for transfer under the CARES Act to home confinement should be sent back to prison once the COVID-19 emergency ended.” Despite bipartisan calls for the Biden administration to reverse the OLC memo, it has failed to do so, report the organizations.
Justice for Gwen Levi.
What do YOU think about this shocking story? Do YOU think President Biden will intervene?