Barry wholeheartedly believes that for him, getting released from the BOP, was “a matter of LIFE OR DEATH! We were at the mercy of the prison employees. We had NO way to social distance, NO cleaners, NO hand sanitizer, NO brooms even. We had no say so in our care or protection.”
The United States Attorney’s Office opposed Barry’s release despite acknowledging that he had a terminal condition. They were also in opposition to his release even though there was growing concern about underlying medical conditions that increase coronavirus susceptibility, and heightened uneasiness regarding the number of coronavirus deaths in the prisons. The opposition persisted regardless of the directive from United States Attorney General William Barr that the BOP prioritize the release of non-violent inmates who were older or whose medical condition put them at higher risk for coronavirus.
On April 2, 2020, Judge Moon granted the Motion for Compassionate Release. When he heard the good news, Barry “was ecstatic! I cried. I was told by my case manager through my locked cell.” He was released 14 days later.
At home with his family in Virginia, Barry continues to think about those at Butner who are at high risk for coronavirus. “Many of the men on my floor had already been given a cancer death sentence! My bunkmate has served thirty-plus years and has less than two years to go. He is not a threat to society and has more than learned his lesson. He has had cancer twice now, has had pneumonia five times, rheumatic fever and is not in good health. He needs to be home with his family... and this is many, many inmates’ stories. Many of these men have no one to help them! These men do not deserve the potential threat of dying in prison from COVID‐19.”