Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
 
Search

February 17, 2022: COMPASSIONATE RELEASE and BOP COVID-19 BLOG


Fast Facts (Full BOP stats can be found here) Currently positive-testing inmates: 1,715 (down from 1,717) Currently positive-testing staff: 1,663 (down from 1,714) Recovered inmates: 54,065 (up from 54,062) Recovered staff: 10,799 (up from 10,736)


Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing inmates:

Oakdale II FCI: 243 (unchanged)

Oakdale I FCI: 160 (unchanged)

Lompoc: 119 (unchanged)

Institutions with the largest number of currently positive-testing staff:

El Reno FCI: 63 (unchanged)

Pollock USP: 62 (unchanged)

Williamsburg FCI: 55

System-wide testing results: Presently, BOP has 134,253 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 12,026 in community-based facilities. Today's stats: Completed tests: 128,907 (up from 128,906) Positive tests: 55,555 (up from 55,554)


Total vaccine doses administered: 297,835 (unchanged)


Case Note: First Circuit holds that § 1B1.13 is not binding on courts but future Commission CR guidance will be binding...


In U.S. v. JOSÉ RUVALCABA, Defendant, Appellant. 2022 WL 468925 (1st Cir. Feb. 15, 2022) (published) (Selya, J.), the first circuit, finally, addresses whether 1B1.13 is binding on CR petitions to district courts and holds not only is it not binding but also that non-retroactive changes to the FSA can be considered by the district court in assessing whether extraordinary and compelling circumstances exist — however, when the Sentencing Commission does issue guidance, that will be binding; the court explains: "Presently before us is an appeal brought by defendant-appellant José Ruvalcaba, who is serving a life sentence for having led a drug-trafficking conspiracy. The appeal raises questions of first impression in this circuit. To frame those questions, we note that the defendant's life sentence, imposed in 2009, encompassed a mandatory minimum, see 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A) (2006), triggered by two prior convictions for felony drug offenses. While the defendant was serving his sentence, Congress passed the First Step Act (FSA) in December of 2018. See Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194. As relevant here, the FSA reduced certain enhanced mandatory minimum penalties (including those pursuant to section 841(b)(1)(A)) and modified the criteria for qualifying prior offenses. Seeid. § 401, 132 Stat. at 5220. At the same time, the FSA amended the compassionate-release statute, see 18U.S.C. §3582(c)(1)(A), to allow prisoners to file their own motions for compassionate release, see FSA § 603(b), 132 Stat. at 5239. In the wake of these changes, the defendant moved for compassionate release under section 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), alleging that there were extraordinary and compelling reasons for his release. The government opposed the motion. The district court, in an unpublished order, refused the requested relief. On appeal, the defendant broadly contends that the district court erred by concluding that it lacked the authority to reduce his sentence because the FSA's changes could not support an extraordinary and compelling reason for compassionate release. We have not yet spoken definitively on the extent of a district court's discretion in determining whether extraordinary and compelling reasons for compassionate release exist. Specifically, we have yet to resolve whether the Sentencing Commission's current policy statement (USSG § 1B1.13) is applicable to and, thus, binding upon district courts in adjudicating prisoner-initiated motions for compassionate release. Nor have we yet resolved whether a district court — when confronted with such a motion — may consider certain of the FSA's changes that were not made retroactive to sentences previously imposed. After careful consideration, we hold that a district court — when adjudicating a prisoner-initiated motion for compassionate release — is not bound by the Sentencing Commission's current policy statement. We further hold that such a court may consider the FSA's non-retroactive changes in sentencing law on an individualized basis, grounded in a defendant's particular circumstances, to determine whether an extraordinary and compelling reason exists for compassionate release. Accordingly, we vacate the order of the district court and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. … Last but not least, we recognize that the situation is fluid. The Sentencing Commission's lack of a quorum has stymied the Commission from issuing policy statements. See Guerrant, 142 S. Ct. at 640-41 (statement of Sotomayor, J., joined by Barrett, J.). If and when the Sentencing Commission issues updated guidance applicable to prisoner-initiated motions for sentence reductions consistent with both section 3582(c)(1)(A) and the Sentencing Commission's statutory mandate under section 994(t), district courts addressing such motions not only will be bound by the statutory criteria but also will be required to ensure that their determinations of extraordinary and compelling reasons are consistent with that guidance. See Saccoccia, 10 F.4th at 7. Until then, however, the district courts will have to assess prisoner-initiated motions for compassionate release primarily through the lens of the statutory criteria, subject to review on appeal.”


Death Watch (Note: The BOP press website announces BOP COVID-related deaths here.) The BOP has announced no new inmate deaths, which remain at 285. Eleven of the inmates died while on home confinement. Staff deaths remain at 7.


14 views0 comments