Second Circuit - First Step Act of 2018

United States v. Johnson, 961 F.3d 181 (2d Cir. 2020). Eligibility for a sentence reduction pursuant to § 404(b) of the First Step Act depends on the statute of conviction, not the defendant’s actual conduct.

United States v. Martin, 974 F.3d 124 (2d Cir. 2020). Section 404(b) of the First Step Act, which permits a court to reduce a sentence for a covered offense, does not permit a court to reduce a completed imprisonment term, even when the defendant remains incarcerated for crimes committed while incarcerated on a covered offense.

United States v. Moore, 975 F.3d 84 (2d Cir. 2020). Section 404(b) of the First Step Act, which permits a court to impose a reduced sentence for a covered offense, does not require plenary resentencing. A court is not required to recalculate the Guidelines range, except to reflect changes flowing from the Fair Sentencing Act.

United States v. Brooker, 976 F.3d 228 (2d Cir. 2020). The policy statement at §1B1.13 governing compassionate release does not apply to motions brought by defendants. In such cases, courts may independently determine what “extraordinary and compelling” reasons justify release.

United States v. Chestnut, 989 F.3d 222 (2d Cir. 2021). The defendant’s release from prison mooted his compassionate release motion. The motion was based on COVID-19 risks and care of his children and did not relate to the length of his supervised release term.

United States v. Bryant, 991 F.3d 452 (2d Cir. 2021). The First Step Act amended the criteria for the application of increased mandatory minimum penalties in drug trafficking offenses. These changes do not apply to a defendant seeking a sentencing reduction under § 404(b) of the First Step Act.

United States v. Fletcher, 997 F.3d 95 (2d Cir. 2021). Drug-related murder, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A), is not a covered offense under § 404(b) of the First Step Act. The defendant was not eligible for a sentence reduction.

United States v. Young, 998 F.3d 43 (2d Cir. 2021). Section 404(b) of the First Step Act does not authorize a court to impose a reduced sentence for a noncovered offense, even when the noncovered offense “formed part of an interdependent sentencing package” with a covered offense.

United States v. Young, 998 F.3d 43 (2d Cir. 2021). The court abused its discretion in declining to reduce the defendant’s term of supervised release under § 404(b) because the court provided no explanation for its ruling.

United States v. Eldridge, 2 F.4th 27 (2d Cir. 2021). For purposes of section 403 of the First Step Act of 2018, a sentence is “imposed” when orally pronounced in district court. The defendant could not qualify for relief under section 403 because his sentence was imposed before the Act’s passage.

United States v. Moyhernandez, 5 F.4th 195 (2d Cir. 2021). A court may, but is not required to, consider the § 3553(a) factors when ruling on a § 404(b) motion.

United States v. Reed, 7 F.4th 105 (2d Cir. 2021). A dual-object conspiracy charging both mandatory minimum quantities of crack cocaine (penalties modified by the Fair Sentencing Act) and mandatory minimum quantities of powder cocaine (penalties not modified by the Fair Sentencing Act) is a covered offense under the First Step Act.

United States v. Saladino, 7 F.4th 120 (2d Cir. 2021). A prisoner’s motion for compassionate release requires the prisoner to fully exhaust all administrative rights or wait 30 days after the warden’s receipt of the request. This requirement is a claim-processing rule, not a jurisdictional one, and the government may waive it.

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