The Federal Bureau of Prisons recently denied the request for former House Speaker Sal DiMasi's compassionate release, based on the finding that DiMasi can, quote "dress and feed himself." Deborah DiMasi, the wife of Sal DiMasi joined Jim on Monday night, with former federal judge Nancy Gertner, to challenge that determination. 

Of her husband, DiMasi said that he is "amazingly mentally strong, and he continues to hold out hope that at some point the right thing will be done." Sal DiMasi has been battling cancer during his time in prison, and meets the requirements for compassionate release. Gertner called his time in prison, "torture, imprisonment."

While DiMasi can lift a spoon to his mouth to feed himself, he struggles to swallow food. DiMasi has undergone radiation treatments for his prostate cancer. A side effect of this treatment is that he can no longer tolerate nutritional supplements, and he can no longer swallow food. He has had multiple surgeries to expand his throat. 

Gertner called the Federal Bureau of Prisons a "lawless agency" and a "rogue agency." They have reserved compassionate release for those who are literally at death's door. She explained that the agency is beyond the law in many ways, and are "punishing everyone." Gertner recalled other similar stories of inmates battling cancer, with no hope for compassionate release.

They are exploring other options in order to grant DiMasi compassionate release, such as talking to the United States Attorney. And they are hopeful that other options will work. Deborah DiMasi said that her husband continues to hold out hope that the right thing will be done, and "he is amazingly mentally strong." She does not want to see him suffer. 

Both Gertner and DiMasi say that this fight is bigger than Sal DiMasi. Gertner said she has heard stories of prisoners who are "literally about to die" and they are not granted compassionate release. "This is a wider problem that we should deal with," she said. Deborah DiMasi said that she feels as if she is doing the right thing by fighting for her husband's rights. And she said that her husband says to fight not only for him, but for everyone in the same situation.