Chris McNair released from federal prison - WVTM-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Birmingham, AL

Chris McNair released from federal prison

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BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Former Jefferson County Commissioner Jewell 'Chris' McNair has been released from federal prison.

His release follows an order from federal Judge Lynwood Smith at 12:43 PM Thursday.

The order came after the Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons, Charles Persons, had requested McNair's release because of health reasons.

McNair was serving time in the Federal Medical Center near Rochester, Minnesota following his 2007 conviction for his role in a massive bribery scheme surrounding the Jefferson County sewer scandal.

His started serving his five year prison sentence in June 2011.

He had served 27 months of that sentence and was scheduled to by released in October 2015.

In their motion for McNair's release, U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance's office concluded, " McNair's serious and declining health problems are extraordinary and compelling reasons, warranting a reduction of his sentence."

In Lynwood's order, he stated, "this court concludes that the defendant's age (87) and deteriorating health constitute extraordinary and compelling reasons warranting the requested relief."

McNair's daughter, Denise, was one of the four young girls killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963 in Birmingham.

His release comes just two weeks before the 50th Anniversary of his daughter's death.

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