The court ruled to grant the incarcerated individual's request for compassionate release under the First Step Act, doing so on the basis of his health issues and the risk of reinfection given how widespread COVID-19 was at the facility he is being held. The individual was convicted of a drug trafficking offense and a related firearms offense; he had a few pre-existing health issues including hypertension, obesity, and severe asthma, and notably, he had already been infected by COVID-19. The court ruled that there was a risk of reinfection given that "the WHO says that '[t]here is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.'” The court specifically noted that "[g]iven the large number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 at FCI Forrest City Low and based on the currently available scientific data, Defendant continues to be at risk of imminent harm based on his underlying medical conditions." As a result, the court determined that the incarcerated individual would be safer in home confinement relative to remaining in prison.
United States v. Common, No. 17-cr-30067, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108555 (C.D. Ill. June 22, 2020)
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Post-Conviction Detention [jail or prison], Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Compassionate Release Case
Compassionate Release Specific Characteristics
Only served a small portion of their sentence (less than 33%)
Case Tracking Number
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Place of Incarceration
Name of Facility
FCI Forrest City Low
First Step Act Exhaustion, First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), Other, U.S.S.G. § 1B1.13
Incarcerated individual must be re-tested for COVID-19 (as he already had it once) and must be released within 24 hours of a negative test; will be released from prison and enter into 4 years of supervised release, the first 6 months of which will include mandatory home confinement. Upon being released, he must quarantine for 14 days; "During his term of home confinement, Defendant shall be monitored by telephone until such time as it is practicable to implement electronic monitoring"; must travel home "in a vehicle with three-row seating that allows him to follow the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, which include staying at least six feet from others and wearing a face mask and gloves."
"[P]ossession with the intent to distribute more than 5 grams of methamphetamine"; "possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime"
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.