Eighth Circuit - First Step Act of 2018

United States v. Moore, 963 F.3d 725 (8th Cir. 2020). A court may, but is not required to, consider the § 3553(a) factors when ruling on a § 404(b) motion.

United States v. El Herman, 971 F.3d 784 (8th Cir. 2020). A transferee court has jurisdiction over a § 404(b) motion where the sentencing court transferred jurisdiction over a defendant who was serving a term of supervised release under 18 U.S.C. § 3605.

United States v. Holder, 981 F.3d 647 (8th Cir. 2020). Although the court has discretion whether to grant First Step Act relief, failing to determine the correct amended guideline range under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 is procedural error.

United States v. Spencer, 998 F.3d 483 (8th Cir. 2021). A multidrug conspiracy involving both powder and crack cocaine is a covered offense under the First Step Act.

United States v. Burnell, 2 F. 4th 790 (8th Cir. 2021). The court did not misunderstand its authority under section 404 of the First Step Act of 2018 when it stated that the defendant’s “term of imprisonment will not be reduced” because his guideline range did not change under such section. The statement did not suggest the court was bound by the guidelines, the court merely exercised its discretion.

United States v. Houck, 2 F.4th 1082 (8th Cir. 2021). The court had no authority to make an equitable exception to the rule requiring that a defendant exhaust his administrative remedies before filing a motion for compassionate release under U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Unlike judicially created exhaustion rules, “congressionally mandated claim-processing rules” are not amenable to exceptions.

United States v. Robinson, --4th--, 2021 WL 3640623 (8th Cir. Aug. 18, 2021). In a sentence reduction proceeding under section 404 of the First Step Act, the court mistakenly believed that the defendant was still subject to a mandatory life sentence because his conduct involved a drug quantity that exceeded the threshold. The First Step Act applies to offenses, not conduct, and the defendant’s offense of conviction – an offense involving 50 grams or more of crack cocaine – yielded a statutory sentencing range of 10 years to life imprisonment.

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