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    • Brief

    United States v. Jones, 482 F.Supp.3d 969 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 27, 2020)

    Order granting motion for compassionate release.

    Argument: Anthony Jones pleaded guilty to several counts, including five 924(c) counts. He was sentenced to 357 months, which the court reduced to time served in granting his motion, a total reduction of 15 months.

    On retroactivity:  “It cannot be denied that FSA § 403reflects a “legislative rejection” of stacking and a “legislative declaration of what level of punishment is adequate” for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Redd, 444 F.Supp.3d at 723-24. Though the statute did not provide automatic relief to defendants like Mr. Jones, it has in no uncertain terms established that sentences like Mr. Jones's “unfair and unnecessary.” Id.”

    On finality of sentencing:

    “The Court likewise rejects the Government's objection that reducing a defendant's sentence based on subsequent legal changes would “undermine the finality of sentences.” Opp. at 9. Although “the principle of finality” is indisputably “essential to the operation of our criminal justice system,” Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 309, 109 S.Ct. 1060, 103 L.Ed.2d 334 (1989), it is not without exceptions. As the Ninth Circuit has explained, sentence reductions under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) are “acts of lenity”; as such, they “are not constrained by the general policies underlying initial sentencing or even plenary resentencing proceedings.” United States v. Padilla-Diaz, 862 F.3d 856, 861 (9th Cir. 2017). In other words, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) represents Congress's judgment that the generic interest in finality must give way in certain individual cases.”