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Appeals court rejects Nassau inmate's claim jail conditions should mean less time

The Nassau County jail on Thursday, April 23,

The Nassau County jail on Thursday, April 23, 2015, in East Meadow. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a claim from a man convicted of aiding a carjacking that he should have received special consideration at sentencing because he was held before trial in crummy conditions at the Nassau County jail.

Sharif Robinson, sentenced to seven years in prison in 2014, claimed the Nassau jail severely limited law library hours, had unsanitary food preparation, poor heating, water leaks and roach infestations, and mixed unaffiliated prisoners with violent gang members.

But the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which also affirmed Robinson's conviction, said U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip was on solid ground refusing to accept that as a reason for a downward departure from federal sentencing guidelines.

Seybert, the appeals court ruled, said at sentencing that the defense had not provided adequate evidence of poor conditions to justify a reduction, and she was not required to engage in a "prolonged discussion" of her reasoning.

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