Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and FAMM in Support of Defendant/Appellee’s Petition for Rehearing and/or Rehearing En Banc.
Argument: Appellee Raia’s Petition for Rehearing addresses the discretion of a district court to excuse the 30-day waiting period for compassionate release under the First Step Act, 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(1)(A). On April 2, 2020, the Panel declined to remand this case under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 12.1, stating that remand would be “futile.” In so ruling, the Panel necessarily concluded that the 30-day waiting period cannot be excused or waived. That conclusion was inconsistent with both Supreme Court and Circuit precedent. The ruling creates inconsistency in the Circuit’s treatment of all claims-processing rules, and undermines courts’ equitable authority in a wide range of cases. The30-day waiting period is a nonjurisdictional claims-processing rule. Courts may excuse noncompliance with that rule absent an express prohibition on doing so. Remand is therefore not “futile.” The Panel’s sua sponte conclusion to the contrary was error. Rehearing should be granted to correct the Panel’s error and confirm that judges are empowered to address “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances even when they arise exigently. At a minimum, the Panel should grant rehearing and order full briefing on this important issue, which was neither decided below nor fully briefed on appeal.
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Appellant Thomas Bryant, Jr., Supporting Reversal.
Argument: Sentencing courts have broad discretion to modify a sentence under Section 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Sentencing courts have authority to grant motions for compassionate release if the defendant does not meet one of the "extraordinary and compelling reasons" described by the Commission. Vesting sentencing courts with discretion to identify "extraordinary and compelling reasons" is consistent with the judge's role at an initial sentencing and does not open any "floodgates." The District Court's order should be reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.
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Para Familiares y Conocidos de Personas en Prisiones Federales
En repuesta a la pandemia global de COVID-19, el proyecto para liberación compasiva federal relacionado al COVID-19 fue establecido para las personas detenidas en las prisiones federales, que son mayor de edad o tienen condiciones médicas que lo dejan más vulnerable al COVID-19. Si su ser conocido está detenido en una prisión federal y es mayor de edad o tiene condiciones médicas que le deja más vulnerable al COVID-19, por favor llena el formulario. Desafortunadamente no podremos ayudar a todos pero estamos haciendo todo posible.
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Information for Family Members and Loved Ones of Vulnerable People in Federal Prison
In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse COVID-19 Project was created to help elderly and medically vulnerable people in federal prison seek early release from prison. If you are a family member of someone in federal prison who is elderly or medically vulnerable, please complete this questionnaire. Unfortunately, we cannot help everyone, but we are doing everything we can.