Meshbesher & Associates has successfully secured the release of one of our clients from federal prison through a Motion for Compassionate Release. The case involved a young man with severe and chronic asthma who had served 3 months of an 11 month-long sentence at a federal prison in Minnesota. In addition to weighing his increased risk of COVID-19 complications due to his asthma, the Court also considered the fact that he presented no risk to the community, had no prior criminal history, and had a supportive home and family he would be released to and found these were extraordinary and compelling reasons to reduce his sentence.
This appears to be the first case out of the District of Minnesota where a federal prisoner has successfully secured release through a motion for compassionate release due to their heightened risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. This case joins the small but growing number of successful COVID-19 related motions for compassionate release in the Eighth Circuit.
Many cases involving prisoners with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of serious harm if they contracted COVID-19 have been denied because the prisoner failed to exhaust the administrative process required by the First Step Act. It is imperative that the prisoner first make a request for compassionate release to the warden. The prisoner must then wait 30 days after making the request to the warden before motioning the court for compassionate release.