The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted seemingly every aspect of society, including those who are currently incarcerated. In some cases, the pandemic serves as grounds for granting incarcerated individuals compassionate release. The courts do not readily grant compassionate release requests, however, and there are certain measures a party must take before a request is even considered. In a recent Florida opinion in a case in which the defendant was serving a sentence for a child pornography conviction, the court explained the grounds for granting compassionate release. If you need assistance with a criminal matter, it is in your best interest to speak to a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Procedural History
It is reported that the defendant was charged with and pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. He was sentenced to 180 months in prison in 2010. In May of 2020, he sought compassionate release, but his request was denied due to his failure to exhaust his administrative remedies. He then filed a second request, based on the fact that he suffered a COVID-19 infection and had asthma and probable lung damage. The court denied his motion, finding that once again, he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Requests for Compassionate Release
The court explained that a court’s authority to modify a prison sentence is significantly limited by statute. Specifically, 18 U.S.C. 3582(c) enumerates the reasons a district court can modify or reduce a prison term once it has been imposed. The court explained that the only portion of the statute that applied in the subject case was the provision that allows a court to reduce a sentence when there is a compelling and extraordinary reason to do so. Continue reading ›