The court and the warden had rejected Timothy Foster’s earlier motion for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) on the grounds that his chronic lung condition called bronchiectasis did not provide “extraordinary and compelling” reasons to merit early release. However, given the recent spread of COVID-19 nationwide and the high risk for serious complications should Foster contract COVID-19 in addition to bronchiectasis, the court granted early release on his new motion. Additionally, the Court considered the § 3553(a) factors such as Foster's age (70), the non-violent nature of Foster’s crime (conspiracy to commit fraud against his employer), and the fact that he served more than half of his sentence. Lastly, the court granted immediate release despite the fact that the BOP had already approved Foster's early release in 45 days, as it saw “no reason to delay [Foster’s health] protection.”
United States v. Foster, No. 1:14-cr-324-02, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82985 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 3, 2020)
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Improved Conditions, Release
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Elderly, Post-Conviction Detention [jail or prison], Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Self-quarantine in his home for fourteen (14) days; remaining sentence in home confinement
Conspiracy to commit wire fraud against employer
Compassionate Release Exhaustion Holdingsin Federal Case
An individual can move for compassionate release after 30 days have passed from the date the application was submitted to the warden, irrespective of whether the warden has granted or denied the request.
I found it noteworthy that the Court granted immediate release although BOP had already approved early release in 45 days. This could be a good case to refer to in similar situations.
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.