This Silver can’t be polished: Shelly Silver evades justice yet again with weak home confinement ploy

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Daily News Editorial Board, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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When Shelly Silver was finally packed off to federal prison last August more than five years after his arrest, we thought that our old motto, that Shelly Silver always wins, would need to be retired. Well, the con man supernal, the dethroned king of downtown, the toppled ruler of Albany, has reclaimed his luck and has won again.

Sprung years early from his Federal Bureau of Prisons public housing in Otisville, Silver is at liberty again — in home furlough, soon to turn to home confinement, should BOP approve. He didn’t wrangle a midnight pardon from President Trump (thank you, New York Republicans, who screamed bloody murder and dissuaded Trump), nor did the U.S. Supreme Court take up his umpteenth appeal.

No, the man who always specialized in escaped hatches used COVID to wriggle out of prison. Under the CARES Act passed by Congress last March, certain U.S. inmates could be sent to home confinement, depending on the conditions of the virus and their crimes. The Southern District prosecutors who convicted this crook (twice) must now argue against Silver’s new no-place-like-home sentence.

How bad is COVID in upstate Otisville? Why can’t the inmates and staff all be vaccinated? The director of federal prisons testified all inmates would be offered the shot by mid-May. Silver’s well-known faith has no dogmatic objections to vaccines, and we really doubt that he converted from Orthodox Judaism to become a vaccine-phobic Christian Scientist. Give the gonif his shot.

The home confinement program has favored older and non-violent felons, two strokes in Silver’s favor, leaving younger, healthier and violent offenders behind bars. But under a Jan. 15 Trump DOJ opinion, once the COVID threat passes, the “BOP would be required to recall the prisoners to correctional facilities.”

President Biden and his AG, good guy Merrick Garland, have left that opinion on the books. Which means that even if slippery Shelly gets some time out, when the virus dissipates, which is going to be very soon, he has a return ticket and room waiting in Otisville. Fluff that pillow.