Quantcast

Brothers Who Knowingly Sold Contaminated Peanut Butter Remain In Prison

Vaccines but no ‘compassionate release’ for Parnell brothers prior to May hearings

FOOD SAFETY NEWS – Ahead of their back-to-back habeas corpus hearings set for the final week of May in Albany, GA, brothers Stewart and Michael Parnell remain in federal custody.

Stewart, 66, and Michael, 62, were unsuccessful with their requests for “compassionate release” under the First Step Act, the federal prison reform act that became law ahead of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons reports Stewart Parnell remains in custody at the Hazelton Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in West Virginia, and Michael Parnell remains at Fort Dix, NJ. Both are low to medium-security facilities.

Stewart, the former top executive of the defunct Peanut Corporation of American, and his peanut broker brother Michael were convicted by a jury in 2014 and respectively sentenced to 28- and 20-year prison terms in 2015.

The Parnell brothers were convicted in relation to a 2013 indictment on 76 federal felony counts.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The government filed the indictment after a federal investigation of a deadly 2008 nationwide salmonella outbreak that was traced to the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) plant at Blakely, GA.

The felony convictions of the Parnell brothers and subsequent sentences are the most severe actions ever taken to punish food safety violations.

The deadly multistate salmonella outbreak traced to PCA’s peanut processing facility in Blakely, GA. After a 4-year investigation, criminal charges followed. The Parnells convictions were for introducing adulterated food — peanut butter and peanut paste — into interstate commerce via fraud and conspiracy.

The Parnell convictions and sentences were upheld on June 20, 2018, by the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

The pandemic became a reality for federal prisons on March 13, 2020, the date after which no visitors were allowed in any of the nation’s 122 federal correctional facilities.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

And inmates began using COVID-19 in their First Step Act requests for compassionate release. By September, 130 federal inmates had died of respiratory ailment.

Multiple filings were common. Michael Parnell, for example, made his original First Stop Act request for compassionate release on May 12, 2020. It outlined the medical conditions that made him susceptible to COVID-19

His second request on July 2, 2020, was for release and home confinement. His request failed to cite any specific category for his proposal.

Parnell’s third request on July 27, 2020, sought home confinement because of the risk of COVID-19. Warden Ortiz denied it on Nov. 5, 2020.

Between the COVID-19 emergency and the First Step Act, BOP had a lot of authority but did not decide to open the prison gates. It went from insisting that it kept inmates safe by the measures it was taking in November 2020 to providing vaccination records now.

Michael Parnell, for example, got his Pfizer-BioNTech shots very early, the first on Jan. 21 and his second on Feb. 10. The “totality of the circumstances” should guide BOP on making A “compassionate release.” decision.

Vaccinations for COVId-19 now appear to be the top reason for denying requests like the one from Michael Parnell.

“BOP has gone to significant lengths — including vaccination against COVID-19 — to protect and maintain defendant’s health and it will continue to do so for the full term of his incarceration,” court documents filed by the government say.

“Neither defendant’s condition nor his attempt to relegate his sentence is sufficient to warrant reducing the punishment the court found necessary in this case.”

U.S. Magistrate Thomas Q. Langstaff will hear “2255 motions” for Stewart Parnell on May 24 and for Michael Parnell on May 27. The back-to-back hearings are not “direct appeals” but rather a Habeas Corpus “collateral appeal.”

The venue for the hearings is the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia in Albany.GA,

The Parnell brothers seek to vacate their convictions and sentences based on ineffective counsel over errors involving jury selection and venue.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)

 

- Advertisement -

TRENDING

Biden Admin. Awards $150K To Florida District That Resisted DeSantis

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration said on Thursday that it was reimbursing a Florida school district that lost state money for imposing a mask...

Ivermectin: What The Evidence Says

Daily Briefing, September 21, 2021 ADVISORY BOARD – Ivermectin is an anti-parasite drug discovered in 1975. It was initially introduced as a drug for livestock,...

CDC Backs COVID Booster For Millions

AP – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a...

Doctors Charged In Massive Fraud Including False Covid Claims

NBC NEWS – The Department of Justice has announced criminal charges against 42 medical professionals, including 23 doctors, and nearly 100 other people for...

Middle-School Mom Rips School Board Over Anal Sex Reference

FOX NEWS – A Texas school district has removed a book from schools after an irate mother read aloud an excerpt about anal sex...

State Cops Sue Governor To Block Vaccine Mandate

FOX NEWS – The union that represents about 1,800 Massachusetts State Police troopers went before a judge Wednesday asking for a delay in the...

Vaccine Effectiveness “Appears To Wane Over Time”

(CNN) The protection provided by Covid-19 vaccines appears to wane over time, especially for people 65 and older, a US Centers for Disease Control...

Frozen Shrimp From India? Throw It Back [Check Labels Now]

FOOD SAFETY NEWS – Officials say a Salmonella Weltevreden outbreak linked to imported, cooked, frozen shrimp is over, but they are concerned some consumers...

“Biden’s Failure During A National Health Crisis” – Kaiser

KAISER HEALTH NEWS – President Joe Biden’s failure to name someone to lead the Food and Drug Administration, more than 10 months after the...

Rising Covid Death Count “A Real Failure Of Society”

For health workers, the deaths, combined with misinformation and disbelief about the virus, have been "heart-wrenching, soul-crushing."
- Advertisement -