Onley v. United States

Brief of Amici Curiae Public Defender Service and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellant.

Brief filed: 09/11/2020


Onley v. United States

District of Columbia Court of Appeals; Case No. 20-CO-0467

Prior Decision

Decision below 2002-FEL-5490 (D.C. Super. Ct. June 29, 2020)


First, the D.C. COVID-19 Emergency Act authorized compassionate release for "extraordinary and compelling" reasons not specifically enumerated in the statute, including a prisoner's heightened vulnerability to COVID-19. Second, courts must consider all relevant evidence in assessing the defendant's vulnerability to COVID-19, regardless of whether the defendant's particular medical conditions have been identified by the CDC as clear risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19. Third, good time credit counts toward the percentage of the sentence served under the statute. Fourth, rulings on compassionate release motions are subject to ordinary appellate review for abuse of discretion.


Samia Fam, Alice Wang, Daniel Gonen, Public Defender Service, Washington, DC; Kobie Flowers, Mukund Rathi, NACDL, Washington, DC.

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