The court granted the request for compassionate release under the First Step Act, citing the individual's "moderate to severe asthma" and the conditions of the facility where he was being held (USP Lompoc). On the issue of exhaustion, the court ruled in favor of the incarcerated individual because 30 days had passed since he had sent an email to the warden requesting release; the court rejected the government's arguments that exhaustion was not satisfied due to a lack of evidence that the warden received the email and that "the email lacks the minimum required information required for a motion for compassionate release." On the merits, the court ruled that the individual had shown he had asthma and that it was serious enough to put him at risk if he were to be infected by COVID-19. The court also stated that the conditions at the prison made complying with CDC recommendations impossible, noting that "(1) defendant will be living with a large group of prisoners in dormstyle living and (2) guards are not confined to USP Lompoc, but are rotating throughout the Lompoc complex, creating a likelihood of cross-exposure between FCI Lompoc, where there is a severe outbreak of COVID-19, and USP Lompoc." The court ruled that he was not a danger to the community given the nonviolent nature of his offense and that he had no disciplinary issues during his incarceration.
United States v. Head, No. 2:08-CR-00093-KJM-2, 2020 WL 3180149 (E.D. Cal. June 15, 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
Name of Facility
United States Penitentiary Lompoc ("USP Lompoc")
First Step Act Exhaustion, First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), Other, U.S.S.G. § 1B1.13
Will finish his prison term in home confinement (with any movement in the community subject to pre-approval by his probation officer) and afterwards will be subject to 36 months of supervised release.
Conspiracy to commit mail fraud; mail fraud
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.
Pre-Existing Health Conditions
Pre-Existing Health Conditions Notes
Asthma (moderate to severe)
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.