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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Despite fears that it would be latest state to see chaos around its elections, Kentucky managed to avoid the major disaster some were predicting for its June 23 primary and its experience offers lessons for elections going forward.  Crucially, Kentucky waived its excuse requirement for early and absentee voting, and the vast majority of primary voters took advantage of the opportunity to cast their ballots by mail. The state’s move to consolidate voting sites so that most counties had only one location drove the most dire predictions about last week’s primaries. But the most populous counties wisely chose for those sites large, open facilities that could safely hold several voters and poll workers at time. Only Fayette County, home to Lexington, saw consistently long lines where wait times were often one to two hours. The lines were caused by a chokepoint in checking in voters —another teachable moment for elections moving forward.

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U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson pushed back Roger Stone’s surrender date until July 14.

Stone had a requested a delay until August 30. Jackson’s order Friday was accompanied by an opinion giving her reasons for only partially granting the delay request that is still under seal, but the judge indicated she would like to make it public at a later date.

The order noted that with the July 14 surrender date, Stone has already been able to delay his prison sentence by 75 days. She additionally ordered that Stone stay under home confinement until his surrender date.

“This will address the defendant’s stated medical concerns during the current increase of reported cases in Florida, and Broward County in particular, and it will respect and protect the health of other inmates who share defendant’s anxiety over the potential introduction and spread of the virus at this now-unaffected facility,” Jackson said.

Her order requested that Stone and the government tell her by Monday if they believe there’s a reason her underlying opinion cannot be released publicly or if there are certain portions they’d request be redacted.

Here is her full order:

ORDER granting in part and denying in part [381] Motion for Extension of Time as to ROGER J. STONE JR. (1). For the reasons set forth in the sealed memorandum opinion entered on this date, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant’s Unopposed Motion to Extend Surrender Date is GRANTED IN PART. It is ORDERED that the defendant’s date to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons will be extended for another fourteen days, until July 14, 2020. This affords the defendant seventy-five days beyond his original report date. It is FURTHER ORDERED that during that time, defendant’s conditions of release will be modified to include the condition of home confinement in accordance with the Attorney General’s memorandum and the strong medical recommendation submitted to the Court by the defense. Pretrial Services may monitor his compliance through any appropriate electronic or nonelectronic means selected in its discretion in accordance with its current practices, which may include such methods as SmartLINK or Voice Recognition. This will address the defendant’s stated medical concerns during the current increase of reported cases in Florida, and Broward County in particular, and it will respect and protect the health of other inmates who share defendant’s anxiety over the potential introduction and spread of the virus at this now-unaffected facility. The Court is of the view that the sealed memorandum opinion could be unsealed in its entirety because while it refers to sealed pleadings, it does not identify any medical condition or conditions or contain any private medical information. The parties must inform the Court by June 29, 2020 whether they agree that the memorandum opinion may be unsealed, and if not, what portions should be redacted and why. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 6/26/20. (DMK)

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Federal prosecutors told the judge in Roger Stone’s case that the “only reason” that they are going along with Stone’s request to delay his surrender date is that doing so is in line with a broad policy from the Justice Department for the COVID-19 pandemic.

A late Thursday night filing from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., plus a separate filing Friday from the Stone’s attorneys, gives a fuller picture of Stone’s efforts to put off going to prison for his 40-month sentence.

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