The COVID-19 pandemic impacted people in many facets of society, including those serving time in prison. Many inmates were able to obtain compassionate release during the pandemic, pursuant to the First Step Act. Since the introduction of vaccines, though, it has become more difficult to demonstrate such relief is warranted, as illustrated in a recent Michigan ruling issued in a case in which the defendant was convicted of numerous crimes. If you are charged with a criminal offense, it is smart to meet with a Michigan criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that the defendant was convicted of identity theft and wire fraud and sentenced to serve 70 months in a federal penitentiary. One month prior to when his sentence was to begin, he moved for compassionate relief due to his concerns about the COIVD-19 pandemic. Specifically, he requested home confinement with an electronic monitoring system. His motion was denied due to his failure to exhaust his administrative remedies, and he began serving his sentence. The defendant subsequently filed a new motion, again arguing for a modification of his sentence. The court reviewed his motion and ultimately determined that such relief was not warranted.
Compassionate Release Under the First Step Act
The First Step Act altered the law regarding the compassionate release of federal prisoners, thereby allowing the courts to consider motions filed by people incarcerated in federal prisons who are striving to reduce their sentences. When presented with such a motion, a court must conduct a three-part test. Specifically, it must determine whether extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant a sentence reduction, ensure that such a reduction is consistent with relevant policy statements issued by the sentencing commission, and consider any applicable sentencing factors. Continue Reading ›