The decision to release disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from prison has been reversed, according to the people working on his behalf.
According to the Detroit News, Kilpatrick was originally scheduled to be released 21 years early as a result of a White House initiative. That initiative was ostensibly meant to release thousands of low-level and nonviolent felons nationwide due to the extremely communicable nature of the coronavirus. But the Bureau of Prisons announced that Kilpatrick’s application for early release has been denied, angering scores of supporters, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Kilpatrick, the product of a former prominent political dynasty in Southeast Michigan headed by his mother Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, had been incarcerated since 2013 after his conviction on charges of racketeering, extortion, mail fraud and tax evasion. The charismatic legislator’s seven-year tenure in Detroit City Hall was marred by multiple scandals that precipitated his resignation from office in 2008.
The Ebony Foundation had previously reported that Kilpatrick would be released from the minimum security prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, many years prior to the original release date of 2037. Kilpatrick had been repeatedly petitioning the president to get out because of the pandemic and it appeared at first that the pleas worked. He was reportedly going to be confined to his mother’s home in Georgia.
Sabrina Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Ebony Foundation, which first announced Kilpatrick’s imminent release, told the Free Press that “there was a case manager on April 17 who went on notice and recommended one path and yesterday that path was reversed by somebody who stepped in over the weekend.”
Kilpatrick’s former brother-in-law Daniel Ferguson III, attributes the change of heart to the change in warden at the Oakdale prison. No one from the Bureau of Prisons has responded to media inquiries, the Free Press reports.
“Knowing the system and the BOP, the new warden is probably doing his due diligence and I’m hopefully confident he will release KMK,” Ferguson said.