Michael Mahoney made one of those requests. He was convicted of selling drugs to an undercover officer back in 1984, went to prison, got out and went on to build a new life for himself.
But he bought a gun for protection, not understanding he couldn't have one as a convicted felon. When he reported the weapon stolen, Mahoney was sent back to prison on a mandatory 15-year sentence. Behind bars, he started getting sick: hepatitis C, then non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, with tumors growing everywhere.
"He just wanted to come on home and eat barbecue and, you know, die at home, be in his own bed," says his older sister, Dixie Taylor.
November 30, 2012
"Back in 1984, Congress gave authorities the power to let people out of federal prison early, in extraordinary circumstances..."
"... like if inmates were gravely ill or dying. But a new report says the Federal Bureau of Prisons blocks all but a few inmates from taking advantage of 'compassionate release.'"