Larry Langford, the former mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, was convicted in 2010 for public corruption and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Last November, the 72-year-old Langford, who is in failing health, was denied compassionate release by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

In a document obtained by, the BOP explained its rationale for denying Langford’s petition:

“Mayor Langford has a history of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, right heart failure, sickle-cell trait, plantar fascial fibromatosis, bursitis, esophageal reflux, dysphagia, hypertension, sensorineural hearing loss, pterygium, and anemia. He was issued an oxygen concentrator and nebulizer and ambulates with the use of a wheelchair. However, his release at this time would minimize the severity of his offense and pose a danger to the safety of the community.”

Decades ago, Congress developed a process that allows for the early release of certain prisoners who are in declining health and nearing the ends of their lives. They directed the BOP to be the first and final authority on the matter. In hindsight, this was a mistake. As an arm of the Department of Justice, the BOP has an inherent aversion to releasing anybody. Langford has been in prison for nearly ten years. His family has been called to the prison in Kentucky where he is in critical condition. Yet, with a laundry list of ailments, the BOP still considers him a threat to society.

Alabama State Representative Juandalynn Givan has led efforts to seek executive clemency for Langford from President Trump.  In addition, the recently passed First Step Act now provides an alternate means of relief, by allowing Langford to request compassionate release directly from the courts.

Congress has intentionally made it a challenge for prisoners to obtain any relief from their sentences, so make the most of your opportunities. If you or a loved one are suffering from debilitating illnesses while in federal prison, contact the Law Offices of Brandon Sample today. We specialize in post-conviction relief, including compassionate release petitions.

Src., “Former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford in Critical Condition, Denied Compassionate Release,” Roy S. Johnson 12/2018.