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    • Brief

    United States v. Brown 457 F.Supp.3d 691 (S.D. Iowa Apr. 29,2020)

    Memorandum and Order granting compassionate release. 

    Argument: Daniel Brown pleaded guilty to four counts, including two 924(c) counts for a total sentence of 510 months. The sentencing judge indicated at the time that the stacked 924(c)s yielded a sentence “far greater than necessary to achieve the ends of justice.” A codefendant was sentenced to only 170 months and released prior to the compassionate release motion. A prior compassionate release motion citing rehabilitation and the draconian sentence had been denied “at th[at] juncture.” The court granted this second motion, citing Brown’s frequent letters to the court, his unsuccessful pursuit of executive clemency, the increased amount of time Brown had served, the COVID-19 pandemic, then in its early stages, and Brown’s risk factors for COVID-19. No cases had been confirmed in Brown’s facility at the time of the court’s grant of compassionate release.

    On the First Step Act’s changes to allow defendants to move for compassionate release on their own behalf:

    “The Act listed these changes under the title of “Increasing the Use and Transparency of Compassionate Release.” § 603(b), 132 Stat. at 5239. That title is “especially valuable” here. Yates, 135 S. Ct. at 1090. The Court assumes the BOP Director faithfully executes the narrowly drawn policy and program statements related to compassionate release. Therefore, the only way direct motions to district courts would increase the use of compassionate release is to allow district judges to consider the vast variety of reasons that may be ‘extraordinary and compelling.’”