The court granted an individual compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1), reasoning that his pre-existing health conditions (age (62), left ventricular hypertrophy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, hypertension, emphysema, and sleep apnea) and the spread of COVID-19 in the prison facility qualified as “extraordinary and compelling reasons” to justify the reduction of his sentence. The court also reasoned that the individual satisfied the exhaustion requirement because his request for compassionate release to the warden was not responded to for over thirty days. Further, the court considered the fact that the individual was convicted for a non-violent crime (tax evasion) and had no prior criminal history.
United States v. Harper, No. 7:18-CR-00025, 2020 WL 2046381 (W.D. Va. Apr. 28, 2020)
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Delayed Surrender, Release
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Parole or Probation Violations, Post-Conviction Detention [jail or prison], Pre-Existing Health Conditions, Pretrial Detention [jail], Significant Criminal History
Compassionate Release Case
Compassionate Release Specific Characteristics
Has a significant criminal history, Was sentenced as a Career Offender under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines
Self-quarantine in his home in North Carolina for at least fourteen (14) days; supervised release for two years
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., Exhaustion is subject to equitable exceptions.
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.