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March 28, 2008

A (sad? happy?) prison family values ending for the Yaegers

In this post, which generated lots of comments, I asked "Should dying child justify a federal sentencing break?".  Here is the end of the story that generated the question:

A 10-year-old girl has died, just a day after her wish to see her father was granted.  Jayci Yaeger's imprisoned father, Jason, went to her bedside Wednesday -- a visit federal authorities allowed only after being deluged with letters and phone calls from across the nation.

Sources said Yaeger did leave the girl's side to consult with hospice counselors and get some direction on how to speak with the girl about what she was going through.   Prior to Wednesday, the prison warden had allowed Jason Yaeger three visits to his daughter, but had denied requests for a longer furlough or an early transfer to a halfway house in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The warden told Yaeger it was not viewed as an extraordinary circumstance.

Letters and e-mails from across the nation have reached the Yaeger family and appealed to the prison to allow the man to see his daughter.  The family asked the media to share their story with the hope of encouraging prison officials to allow the visit.  He's scheduled to be released to a halfway house in August.

Yaeger asked President George W. Bush for clemency. Yaeger spent four years in a federal prison on methamphetamine-related charges. Officials with the Federal Bureau of Prisons would not confirm a visit took place.

Officials said they would only comment on a possible visit after a prisoner returned from a furlough.  On Thursday, Jayci's mother described Jayci's condition as minute-by-minute, saying the girl had gone into respiratory distress three times that day.

March 28, 2008 at 01:08 PM | Permalink


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I am happy that the warden showed compassion in the end. How devasating it would have been for Dad not to have seen his daughter before she died. I am sure he already had major regrets for not being there during her suffering. In fact the warden gave the child her last joy of seeing her dad and it alone meant everything to that little girl. May she now rest in peace. My heartfelt sympathy to her Mom and Dad.

Posted by: Welch | Mar 29, 2008 12:29:26 AM

The warden said it was not viewed as a extraordinary circumstance? I wonder what the warden does consider an extraordinary circumstance. The warden showed compassion because he was pressured into doing so.

Posted by: USMC | Mar 29, 2008 1:09:26 PM

Most of the people that work for "the system" (prosecutors, marshalls, warden, jailers) have lost their soul a long time ago.

Posted by: babalu | Mar 30, 2008 11:23:56 AM

WOW, that was judgmental of me, wasn't it. I came back and reread that. Let me take all that back and just say kudos to the warden and all involved who helped make this happen.

Posted by: babalu | Mar 31, 2008 12:33:39 AM

Maybe “extraordinary circumstances” is when the father could actually have helped the daughter – i..e donating a kidney or something.

Posted by: S.cotus | Mar 31, 2008 6:54:49 AM

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