Steve Brittner was known as one of the nicest men in Missoula, Mont. He played in a community baseball league and was one of the favorite bouncers at a local bar where he was known to show a lot of compassion to the occasional unruly patron after they apologized. He was both popular and an all-around good guy.
Sadly, Steve got involved in selling drugs. Although he did stop selling, authorities carrying semi-automatic guns raided his home, demanding to know where he was hiding the drugs, and while some drug paraphernalia was confiscated, nothing else was found. In 2016, he was charged with conspiracy to distribute meth, and he was sentenced to 48 months in prison.
Here’s where it goes from bad to worse. After incarceration, Steve was just not himself; he was in constant pain, showing signs of confusion and suffering from what many believed to be memory loss. After seeing a prison physician, tests revealed that Steve had stage 4 brain cancer, and he was given less than a year to live.
However, another challenge presented itself. Steve was more than 2,000 miles away from his fiancee Maggie, and unfortunately, she did not have the financial resources to visit him. So she applied for “compassionate release,” which allows nonviolent, terminally ill patients to be released from prison so they can spend their last days at home with loved ones. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., also got involved and wrote a letter on Maggie’s behalf. Sadly, even after the senator’s involvement, the request for compassionate release was still denied.
Unfortunately, this is no surprise. When it comes to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there’s nothing compassionate about compassionate release. In fact, from 2013-2017, the agency denied 96% of applications, leaving many inmates who requested this special release to die while in custody.
However, thanks to the First Step Act, Steve was released from prison, and this week he arrived home to spend his final days with Maggie — and instead of dying alone, bedridden, behind bars, and thousands of miles away, he will be surrounded and cared for by loved ones and close friends.
This never would have been possible without the tireless efforts of Republicans and Democrats alike and, more importantly, President Trump’s leadership and commitment to sign this historic legislation. Although Maggie is saddened that she will soon lose the love of her life, she is comforted by the fact that he will die at home and in her arms.
It’s stories like these that show Trump is fulfilling his vow to make America great again. Promises made, promises kept.
By Mark Vargas/WashingtonExaminer
Posted by The NON-Conformist