Convicted Murderer Re-Arrested After Being Freed from Prison Over Coronavirus
Violent felon caught robbing bank after being released from Rikers Island, New York
A convicted murderer has been re-arrested for allegedly robbing a bank after being released early from New York's notorious Rikers Island prison over the coronavirus pandemic.
Law enforcement officials say the violent felon was arrested around a week after being freed from jail.
The convict, James Little, “was cut loose from the jail because of the coronavirus outbreak on March 28 after being locked up for strangulation earlier in the month,” police sources reportedly told The New York Post.
“About a week later on the morning of April 7, Little allegedly tried to rob an Apple Bank on Irving Place in Gramercy Park,” the Post added.
Little was “on parole for a 1995 murder” and the alleged strangulation stemmed from “charges of assaulting his girlfriend,” The New York Daily News notes.
He was arrested on March 3 over the alleged incident inside his girlfriend’s home in Brooklyn, according to the Daily News.
The Post said that Little was wearing gloves and a face mask while allegedly trying to rob the bank.
He reportedly passed a note to the teller that told her to give him money.
Little was arrested by authorities the following day after his alleged failed robbery attempt.
“Investigators believe he knocked over two Midtown banks on Jan. 23 and Dec. 26, leaving with $1,000 in each robbery,” The Post added.
“Little served more than 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a murder committed in Coney Island when he was 15 years old.”
At the end of March, House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr demanding that the Justice Department tries to “release as many prisoners as possible” over the coronavirus.
Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and subcommittee chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA) pressured Barr to consider releasing prisoners regardless of the severity of offense they were convicted of.
“We call on you, in the most urgent of terms, to do the right thing and exercise [authority to modify sentences of prisoners who present ‘extraordinary and compelling reasons’] and immediately move to release medically-compromised, elderly, and pregnant prisoners in the custody of the [Bureau of Prisons],” the two Democrats wrote.
“In addition, we urge that you use every tool at your disposal to release as many prisoners as possible, to protect them from COVID-19.”
The two Democrats indicated that they had a problem with a memo that Barr wrote that stated that inmates at low and minimum security facilities should be given priority for consideration to be released from prison [emphasis added]:
Your memorandum specifies that priority should be given to inmates in low- and minimum-security facilities and that “serious” offenses should weigh more heavily against consideration for home detention.
These limitations, unfortunately, beg the question of what you do with individuals who are at a high risk for contracting COVID-19 who are not in low- or minimum-security facilities, who have been convicted of serious offenses, or who have high PATTERN risk scores.
We urge you to consider that even individuals in these categories should be assessed for release because they may be elderly or particularly vulnerable.
Pregnant prisoners, in all circumstances, should be released to home confinement forthwith.
We further urge you to assess the risk of contracting COVID-19 of every individual in BOP custody, regardless of the type of institution in which they are housed, the seriousness of their offense, or the potential recidivism risk they may present.
If BOP decides to keep these individuals detained, what specific provisions are being made for those among them who are at high risk for contracting COVID-19?
What plans are being made to communicate information to these individuals, their attorneys, and their loved ones, about the plan for their care behind bars during the COVID-19 pandemic?