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Murderer released from life sentence ordered back to prison

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Murderer released from life sentence ordered back to prison

A murderous drug kingpin from Detroit was released from a life sentence amid the COVID-19 crisis — then ordered back behind bars by a federal appeals court.

In a 2-1 ruling issued late Friday, a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel agreed to stay the release of John Bass, 51, who was freed from a Pennsylvania prison after 22 years of incarceration, MLive.com reported.

Bass was initially set free on Jan. 22 on compassionate grounds due to his health issues, including being clinically obese, and the potential of catching the coronavirus at the prison where 46 percent of inmates have had the virus or are currently infected.

US District Judge Arthur Tarnow cited Bass’ “horrific crimes,” but ruled he was worthy of a “well-earned second chance” for turning his life around in prison by becoming a life coach and working in drug abuse education.

In Friday’s ruling, the appellate judges said Tarnow fell short of properly considering Bass’ criminal history or the relatives of his victims.

“Bass masterminded a drug conspiracy whose members were coerced to cooperate through violence,” the court ruled. “He personally perpetrated that violence, even going so far as to torture an organization member.”

Bass was serving two life sentences for murder and heading a crack cocaine ring that reportedly sold more than 55 kilograms in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.

“The record established that Bass ran a large-scale conspiracy trafficking multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and crack in multiple states and that he continued to operate while detained,” the appeals judge wrote in the ruling obtained by WXYZ. “The public has an obvious interest in combatting the harm that drug trafficking causes, as well as murder.”

The father of six — who had returned home to live with his wife in Eastpointe following Tarnow’s ruling — was taken back into custody early Saturday, WXYZ reported.

Federal prosecutors now have until Feb. 16 to file a brief with the Court of Appeals before Bass’ attorney can respond to the motion, according to the station.

Assistant US Attorney Andrew Goetz had sought for Tarnow’s ruling to be reversed, saying his decision to release Bass, who had been eligible for the federal death penalty, was “out of bounds,” court documents show.

Goetz also said that Bass had “not aged out of his ability to harm” others.

“He’s only 51 years old – eight years older than one of the starting quarterbacks in this year’s Super Bowl,” Goetz wrote in a motion seeking to overturn Tarnow’s ruling last week, referring to Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Tom Brady. “He is more than capable of picking up where he left off.”

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US Park Police names Pamela Smith as first black female chief

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US Park Police names Pamela Smith as first black female chief

The US Park Police on Thursday named Pamela Smith as its new chief — the first black woman to lead the 230-year-old agency.

Smith, a 23-year veteran of the force, will begin her new role on Sunday.

She announced in a statement that one of her first priorities will be to establish body-worn cameras for the entire Park Police force.

“Body-worn cameras are good for the public and good for our officers, which is why I am prioritizing implementing a body-worn camera program within my first 90 days,” said Smith.

The program will kick off in San Francisco before spreading across the country by the end of the year.

“This is one of the many steps we must take to continue to build trust and credibility with the public we have been entrusted to serve,” said Smith.

The US Park Police oversees national parks and federal property including the National Mall.

With Post wires

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Queen Elizabeth urges Brits to get COVID-19 vaccine

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Queen Elizabeth urges Brits to get COVID-19 vaccine

Queen Elizabeth urged her fellow Brits to get the COVID-19 vaccine, saying her experience was smooth and that the shot “didn’t hurt at all.”

The 94-year-old Queen was on a video call with health leaders on Tuesday to discuss the distribution of the vaccine across the UK, and she also stressed the importance of getting the jab, according to the BBC.

“Well, once you’ve had the vaccine you have a feeling of you know, you’re protected, which is I think very important, and as far as I can make out it was quite harmless,” she told the panel.

“It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who’ve been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine,” the Queen added. “And the jab, It didn’t hurt at all.”

The monarch said she understood some people might find it “difficult” to get vaccinated but urged the public to “think about other people rather than themselves”.

The Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, received their first doses of the vaccine in January.

Prince Phillip was admitted to London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital last Tuesday where he’s being treated for an infection.

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Peter Gotti, former Gambino crime boss, dead at 81

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Peter Gotti, former Gambino crime boss, dead at 81

Mobster Peter Gotti, the one-time Gambino crime boss and successor to brother John “Dapper Don” Gotti, died in North Carolina where he was serving time in federal prison. He was 81.

Gotti, who had been sentenced to 25 years in jail after being convicted in 2003 on racketeering and other charges, died of natural causes at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, the Associated Press reported.

The Bronx native served more than 17 years behind bars and had been recently seeking an early release because of his poor health.

Gotti had been suffering from thyroid problems, and was blind in one eye, Lewis Kasman, a former mobster and John Gotti confidant, told the AP.

Peter Gotti, a former sanitation worker turned mobster, took over the Gambino crime family after his younger brother John was sent to prison for murder and racketeering.

John Gotti died of cancer in 2002.

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