Detroit convicted killer ordered back to detention
Detroit – The US 6th appeals court ruled Friday that a Detroit drug dealer who has served two life sentences and was compassionately released due to obesity and the COVID-19 pandemic must be re-arrested.
Federal prosecutors refused to release John Bass, who was accused of ordering his brother’s murder and working to hide the crime by killing the fighter.
U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow rescued the 51-year-old late last month and refused to hold him in detention pending prosecution appeals. The judge was concerned about the health and safety of Bass in a Pennsylvania federal prison, which at the time had the second largest number of inmates with COVID-19 on the system.
Bass, who weighs more than 300 pounds, left the medium security facility on January 22nd and was supposed to be living in Eastpointe with his wife.
Prosecutors argued that Bass was still a community threat and a rare breed of criminal “who are so antisocial that they are imprisoned for life”. In court documents, they also questioned Tarnow’s decision.
In Friday’s decision, the appellate court agreed to allow her to stay.
“Another, probably shorter, stay will not do any significant damage if we examine the merits of his appeal, especially in view of the significant decline in COVID-19-positive inmates in his detention center,” the decision said.
Tarnow wrote that Bass is “an exemplary inmate and man who has turned the pain and darkness of his former life on the street into a light for those still in his hands.” He also claims that a 22-year rehabilitation record reduced the risk that he would commit another crime.
The appeals court said Bass had “served just over half of his expected sentence, a significant decrease other than the fact that he should never be released”.
Bass, he added, has not “shown that his return to custody will cause him significant harm. He was sentenced to life imprisonment until days ago …”