10-year-old Nebraska girl Jayci Yaeger died not long after she was given her last wish: to see her father Jason Yaeger who is serving time on a drug offense. There remain questions about why federal officials in Yankton, S.D. fought any extended furlough for so long and only relented after a national outcry over their position.
Jayci had terminal brain cancer and only wanted to be with her father in her final days. The prison refused anything other than a couple of day trips. The warden concluded that a dying 10-year-old daughter was not “an extraordinary circumstance.” It appears to have become an extraordinary circumstance when citizens across the country deluged the prison with calls and letters of outrage.
Now that Jayci is gone, it should be time to investigate the heartless position of the Bureau of Prisons and Warden J.D. Whitehead (PC YANKTON FEDERAL PRISON CAMP 1016 DOUGLAS AVENUE YANKTON, SD 57078). Notably, requests for clemency from President Bush were left unanswered despite his intervention to save Scooter Libby from a day in jail. I frankly do not know what the drug offense in this case involved. However, at a minimum, a furlough should have been granted as a simple matter of humanity. The failure of Whitehead and the BOP to see this as an “extraordinary” circumstance shows an utter lack of both judgment and decency.
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