The court granted compassionate release where Harrell had exhausted his administrative remedies, he was in the second half of his sentence and he had several pre-existing conditions that made him at greater risk from COVID-19, “[e]ven if . . . Harrell’s conditions do not independently and perfectly fit the definition of severity, as outlined by the CDC." The court found the “persuasive precedent for granting compassionate release under the current circumstances [to be] overwhelming.” At the time of this decision, FCI Danbury had 12 inmates and 2 staff members who have tested positive; 131 inmates and staff members have already been infected and have recovered; and one inmate had died from the virus. Although Harrell has had two disciplinary incidents in prison, the court found his time in prison to overall to show a low risk of recidivism (drug treatment program, financial responsibility program, steady employment during incarceration, completed courses).
Harrell v. United States, No. 20-cr-20198 (E.D. Mich. May. 28, 2020)
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Bond Hearing, Improved Conditions, Release
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Elderly, Immigrant Detention, Low-Level Offenses, Post-Conviction Detention [jail or prison], Pre-Existing Health Conditions, Pretrial Detention [jail]
Compassionate Release Case
Compassionate Release Specific Characteristics
Has a disciplinary history
Case Tracking Number
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Place of Incarceration
Name of Facility
Eighth Amendment - Deliberate Indifference, Procedural Due Process (both 14th and 5th Amendments), Substantive Due Process - Deliberate Indifference (both 14th and 5th Amendments), Substantive Due Process - Punitive Detention (both 14th and 5th Amendments)
Release upon the completion of his 14-day quarantine; 5-year term of unsupervised release
Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Cocaine Base, Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance
Compassionate Release Exhaustion Holdingsin Federal Case
Other, Exhaustion is not subject to equitable exceptions
Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Age, Asthma, Depression, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Schizophrenia, Substance Use Disorder
Pre-Existing Health Conditions Notes
hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes (Petitioner is 45 years-old, the government felt that was not considered "at risk" and the court did not opine)
COVID-19 Positive or Symptomatic
COVID-19 in Jail Prison or Detention Center
How much does prison activity (such as courses and programs completed) influence CR?
Crowdsourced legal documents from around the country related to COVID-19 and incarceration, organized, collected, and summarized for public defenders, litigators, and other advocates. Created and managed by Bronx Defenders, Columbia Law School’s Center for Institutional and Social Change, UCLA Law COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project, and Zealous. Mostly federal court opinions, but now expanding to states and legal filings, declarations, and exhibits.
This resource is designed to help lawyers, advocates, researchers, journalists, and others interested in challenging, remedying, or drawing attention to the grave risk that Covid-19 poses to individuals who are detained.