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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.’”

    • Brief

    United States v. Brown, 2020 WL 4569289, at *1 (E.D. Wis. Aug. 7, 2020)

    Memorandum and Order granting compassionate release 

    Argument: Deric Brown pled guilty to seven counts of robbery and two 924(c) counts. The court granted a reduction of 624 months to 408 months – from the old mandatory minimum to the new one, based on the disparity in sentencing and Brown’s “complete 180-degree change in attitude and conduct.”

    Walking through factors in favor of relief:

    “If Brown had been sentenced today rather than in 2002, there is no question that he would have received 408 months’ imprisonment, rather than 624 months. This is an 18-year difference on a mandatory, consecutive term. Moreover, Brown's sentences for the predicate offenses may have been lower, resulting in a lower sentence overall. Dean v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 1170, 1176–77 (2017) (permitting sentencing courts to consider mandatory minimum sentences imposed under § 924(c) when determining the appropriate sentence for a predicate offense). This disparity is significant, as demonstrated not only by Congress's decision to amend the statute to clarify its intent, but also by the pure fact of it: 18 years is a long time to remain incarcerated; indeed, it is nearly as long as Brown has already been incarcerated. Finally, the reason for the disparity is simply that the original statute was interpreted a certain way—ultimately, in a way that led to “unfair and unnecessary” sentences. Redd, 2020 WL 1248493, at *6. There is no penological justification at play, here.” At *4.