The court granted compassionate release to an incarcerated individual. The individual was sentenced to 13 months of prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, having been discovered at the U.S.-Mexico border as a passenger in a car that had narcotics in it. At the time of sentencing, she was 7 months pregnant and requested to participate in BOP's Mothers and Infants Nurturing Together (MINT) program (at the court's recommendation) but was denied from doing so and separated from her child after birth. Due in part to COVID-19, the individual had been detained at a private facility rather than a BOP facility and thus, as the government argued, she was not eligible for home confinement until "she arrives at her designated BOP facility, [where] staff will conduct a review of her suitability, pursuant to BOP policy and other applicable guidelines." This also made exhaustion impossible since there was no BOP Warden she could make a release request to, which caused the court to waive the exhaustion requirement. On the merits, the court granted release, noting that the government itself admitted that "[i]f she had been transferred to a BOP facility after sentencing she would have already been released from prison to an RRC or on home detention" and that it would be unfair to keep her detained, especially given that she was unable to participate in MINT as the court recommended.
United States v. Garcia-Zuniga, No. 3:19-cr-04139-JM, 2020 WL 3403070 (S.D. Cal. June 19, 2020)
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Post-Conviction Detention [jail or prison]
Compassionate Release Case
Case Tracking Number
MORE CASE INFORMATION
Place of Incarceration
Federal Detention Center [typically federal pretrial detention]
Name of Facility
GEO-Western Region Detention Facility
First Step Act Exhaustion, First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)
Immediate release from prison into either home confinement or a Residential Reentry Center (RRC)
Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute
Compassionate Release Exhaustion Holdingsin Federal Case
Exhaustion is subject to equitable exceptions.
COVID-19 Positive or Symptomatic
COVID-19 in Jail Prison or Detention Center
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.