Drug crimes typically carry significant penalties, and people convicted of such offenses may be sentenced to decades in prison. In some instances, though, a person serving a significant sentence for a drug crime may be able to argue for compassionate release. Demonstrating that such relief is warranted can be difficult, however, as demonstrated in a recent Michigan case. If you are charged with a drug crime, it is smart to speak to a Michigan drug crime defense attorney regarding your options for protecting your interests.
The Facts of the Case
It is reported that in 2013, the defendant was charged with and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment, which was the mandatory minimum sentence. When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the defendant’s prison, he moved for compassionate release. In support of his motion, he argued that his pre-existing health conditions and the fact that the First Step Act reduced the minimum sentence for similar crimes constituted compelling and extraordinary reasons that warranted an early release. He also noted that he had not garnered any infractions in prison and had completed his education. The district court nonetheless denied his motion. He then appealed.
Factors Weighed in Evaluating a Request for Compassionate Release
The appellate court found the district court’s analysis of the federal sentencing factors to be sufficient to affirm its ruling. The appellate court noted that the district court weighed the relevant sentencing factors, including the defendant’s criminal history and the characteristics of his crime, and found that they weighed heavily against granting relief. Specifically, it noted he frequently committed crimes while on supervision or parole and had an extensive criminal past. Continue Reading ›