The court granted compassionate release, doing so on the basis of the individual's pre-existing health issues and the risk they posed to his health in the context of the pandemic. The individual was convicted of distributing methamphetamine and committing a related firearms offense; he has multiple gastrointestinal issues including Crohn's disease and pancolitis and also has a compromised immune due to a prescribed medication that he takes. On the issue of exhaustion, the court ruled in the individual’s favor despite the fact that he had made his petition for release prior to the onset of the pandemic, stating that the "Government cites no case law or statute that precludes a party from offering previously unknown new information in support of a party’s established position." On the merits, the court also ruled in the individual's favor, asserting that as a result of having Crohn's disease, "[d]efendant is capable of only limited self-care, spends 90 percent of the day in bed, cannot sit down, and moves only with a walker" all of which "establish extraordinary and compelling reasons" for release. The court also noted his efforts at rehabilitation, stating that "while incarcerated, Defendant has worked hard to prepare himself to contribute meaningfully to society upon release . . . [as] [h]e has taken part in educational programs and engaged in work within the prison system."
United States v. Gamboa, No. 2:09-cr-01741-JAP, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102156 (D.N.M. June 11, 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
Case Tracking Number
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Place of Incarceration
First Step Act Exhaustion, First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), Other, U.S.S.G. § 1B1.13
5 years of supervised release
Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
Compassionate Release Exhaustion Holdingsin Federal Case
An individual does not need to “issue exhaust” (i.e., does not need to mention COVID-19 in their application to the warden in order to rely on it in the motion to the court).
Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Medication-Related Immunocompromise, Other, Crohn's Disease, Pancolitis (an inflammatory bowel disease), Multiple Rectal Abscesses (infected cavity filled with pus found near the anus)
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.