Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is asking to get out of prison again, this time claiming he’s not getting enough ice in prison to nurse his bad knee, nor the physical therapy he needs to get stronger.
Those are two of the key arguments that Kilpatrick’s lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, made to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals today in trying to get his client released on bond.
Kilpatrick has been arguing for bond since he was convicted March 11 of numerous crimes in a public corruption case that could send him to prison for 20 to 30 years. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds denied has repeatedly denied his requests for bond, concluding he can’t be trusted not to flee, so Kilpatrick has sought legal intervention from the federal appeals court.
In today’s filing, Gurewitz argued that Kilpatrick is not a flight risk, citing the former mayor’s bad knee, which was operated on following a knee injury he sustained while en route to prison following his conviction. The injury, which required surgery and a two-day hospital stay, now requires 90-minute therapy sessions two times per week, Gurewitz wrote. But those sessions, which are held at a private location outside the prison, are cut short because of scheduling problems and unavailability of therapists, he wrote, noting Kilpatrick also can’t heal properly at the federal prison in Milan where he’s being held.
“Ice necessary for recovery after therapy has not been provided at FDC-Milan when Mr. Kilpatrick returns from his therapy,” Gurewitz wrote, adding Kilpatrick also cannot perform his daily prescribed exercises at Milan because he not allowed to have the items required for the exercises.
Gurewitz argued that given Kilpatrick’s health issue, combined with him being “financially destitute,” he is not a flight risk and should be released on bond pending formal sentencing, which has not yet been scheduled.
The U.S. Attorneys office has repeatedly argued that Kilpatrick cannot be trusted not to flee, claiming he has long ignored court orders and hidden assets from the courts. Federal prosecutors also have argued that the federal prison system is equipped to handle Kilpatrick’s knee problem.
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