Walter Williams moved for compassionate release because his HIV diagnosis made him highly vulnerable to death or severe illness from COVID-19. The court concluded that the increased vulnerability to COVID constituted an “extraordinary and compelling” reason to reduce his sentence, specifically noting that the prison setting “put limits” on what can be done to contain the spread of COVID-19. The court also pointed to William’s completion of twenty-eight years of his fifty-year term.
United States v. Williams, No. 327 (E.D. Wis. Mar. 26, 2021).
Criminal (Federal Charges)
Type of Court
Federal District Court
Type of Case
Post-Conviction Detention [jail or prison], Pre-Existing Health Conditions
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.