Former Jefferson County Commissioner Chris McNair has been released from a federal prison medical facility.
Thursday, U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith ordered McNair's sentenced reduced to the time he has served along with having McNair released from the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Upon release, McNair will begin serving a 24-month term of supervised release.
The motion to have the sentence reduced was filed jointly by Charles E. Samuels, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Joyce White Vance, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. McNair's declining health was cited at the reason for the motion. In the court order, the court found McNair's "age (87) and deteriorating health constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons warranting the requested relief."
Smith's order states that McNair will be released immediately once his family can make sure he's healthy enough to make the trip to Birmingham from Rochester, Minn. The release request says McNair will live with his daughter and she will be his primary caregiver.
McNair was convicted in 2007 on bribery and conspiracy charges related to his role in the county's sewer projects. He was sentenced to 5 years. He is currently being held in a federal prison medical facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
McNair's daughter, Denise, was killed in 1963 when Ku Klux Klansmen bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. A bell from the church was rung at the Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday during the commemoration of the March on Washington's 50th anniversary.
Mayor Williams Bell's office tells FOX6 that they have sent invitations to the unveiling of a statue honoring the "Four Little Girls" and a service commemorating the bombing anniversary to all families, including the McNairs. The office adds that McNair would be welcome at those events.
This situation brings to mind the case of former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford. He has asked for an early release from prison because of deteriorating health but remains in a federal medical facility in Lexington, Ky.
Late Thursday afternoon, Langford's attorney Reginald McDaniel released this statement to FOX6:
We congratulate Mr. McNair and his family on this development. We don't believe this will affect Mr. Langford's situation or request as all requests are taken individually. However, we remain hopeful and prayerful.
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