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Federal Judge Orders Jan. 6 Detainee Released Over Issues at DC Jail

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A man from Florida who stands accused of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol Building Jan. 6 has been ordered released from the D.C. Jail by a federal judge because of ongoing issues at the facility where he and dozens more suspects charged with crimes stemming from the riot are being held.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who was appointed in the 1980s by then-President Ronald Reagan, issued his order Thursday for Christopher Worrell to be released to home incarceration.

“Worrell complained that officials at the Washington jail complex, which includes the D.C. Central Detention facility, blocked a recommended operation on his fractured finger and were not giving him access to proper medical treatment for his cancer,” The Epoch Times reported.

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“Lamberth last month held Washington jail officials in contempt over the matter and referred the matter and other confirmed and alleges cases of mistreatment of Jan. 6 detainees to the Department of Justice for a potential civil rights investigation,” the report continued.

“The agency said this week that Attorney General Merrick Garland received the referral and that a review has been initiated,” The Epoch Times continued, adding:

In court on Wednesday, Lamberth said Washington officials withheld medical records from the court and other authorities, and that Worrell was mistreated, the American Greatness reported.

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Lamberth described the conditions at the lockup as “deplorable,” adding that “This court has zero confidence the defendant will be treated” in the way he needs.

“We are pleased with the court’s order allowing Mr. Worrell to obtain the life-saving cancer treatments he needs,” Alex Stavrou, a lawyer representing Worrell, said in an email to the outlet.

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“We are also pleased that over 400 inmates will be transferred to facilities where they will receive proper treatment and care, and not be subjected to the deplorable conditions noted by the United States Marshal’s investigation,” he noted further.

The outlet’s report continued:

The U.S. Marshals Service conducted an unannounced inspection of the Washington jail system in mid-October, it announced this week. The inspection revealed no conditions that would necessitate the transfer of inmates from the Central Treatment Facility, where Worrell and other Jan. 6 defendants are being held, the service said. But it ordered the transfer of around 400 detainees from another facility in the system after authorities found “conditions there do not meet the minimum standards of confinement.”

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Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) went to the facilities earlier in the week to try to enter to see firsthand the conditions but were denied entry. The pair, along with Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) later sent a letter to Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, urging her to let them inspect the facilities.

“It appears that at least some of those treated so vilely for suspected involvement in the January 6 events are political prisoners of the U.S. government,” the lawmakers and Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) wrote in an Epoch Times op-ed.

The Washington Post added on Thursday that U.S. Marshals were ordered to leave by DC Jail personnel after they dropped in for a surprise inspection:

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Authorities at the D.C. jail ordered members of the U.S. Marshals Service to leave the facility after a team of deputy marshals spent several days last month conducting a surprise inspection of the jail and cataloging “egregious” conditions, including the mistreatment of prisoners, a federal judge said Wednesday.

Speaking from the bench in U.S. District Court in Washington, Judge Royce C. Lamberth said he and other judges were briefed about the jail this week by the court’s acting U.S. marshal, Lamont J. Ruffin, who ordered the inspection. Ruffin’s findings led the Justice Department to announce that about 400 inmates, being held at the jail in federal criminal cases, will be transferred to a penitentiary in Pennsylvania.

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