Epstein jail guards get plea deal: No jail, 100 hours of community service

If there was a conspiracy to assassinate a man who knew compromising information about the power elite, two of the lowest-level conspirators are getting away with no jail time.  The two prison guards who allowed Jeffrey Epstein to die with nobody checking up on his safety (despite having been on suicide watch) are getting a slap on their wrists: 100 hours of community service and six months of pretrial supervision.  This seems a very light penalty, considering that they falsified documents attesting to their carrying out the duties that they neglected, and the profound consequences of their perjurious neglect of duty.  Public confidence in the integrity of the Bureau of Prisons and the entire justice system has been tanked.

There is a faint ray of hope, however.  According to a letter submitted to the court seeking approval of the arrangement, the two guards, Michael Thomas and Tova Noel,

Twitter screen grab.

"will cooperate with a pending Department of Justice Office of Inspector General review by providing truthful information related to their employment by the Bureau of Prisons, including about the events and circumstances described in the Indictment."

Their cooperation will be enforced because the plea is a "deferred prosecution," meaning that if their cooperation is deemed inadequate, they can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, likely meaning prison time.  But are the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York really interested in finding out if someone took advantage of (and possibly encouraged) the guards' negligence to assassinate Epstein, as so many believe?  We have been told that Epstein had extensive video surveillance of the activities of his guests and that his New York home was searched.  Why has there been no sign of criminal prosecution of sex with underage girls, as has been almost universally assumed to be taking place at his mansion?

The guards may have benefited from consideration of their state of overwork due to short staffing at the Manhattan facility.  One was on a second consecutive eight-hour shift while the other had worked mandatory overtime five days in a row.  The prosecutors are not pushing a narrative that would embarrass their fellow Justice Department colleagues at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

And that sort of self-protective instinct among federal employees, avoiding embarrassment, could extend to letting sleeping dogs lie when it comes to getting to the bottom of Epstein's activities with the rich, powerful, and famous.

A few years ago, I would have been mildly hopeful that the two guards would spill the beans to prosecutors if Epstein didn't kill himself and there was some sort of conspiracy that disabled security cameras and kept the guards away as an assassin killed him.  But after witnessing the behavior of the DOJ during the Trump presidency and after, I have no faith whatsoever in the integrity of its prosecution decisions.

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