COVID-19 ravaged prisons throughout Florida and the country, ultimately costing many people their lives. In light of that fact, the Florida courts have granted some inmates compassionate release. The mere fact that a person may contract COVID-19 is not adequate grounds for granting such relief, though, as discussed in a recent opinion issued by a Florida court. If you have questions regarding compassionate release or your rights as a criminal defendant, it is in your best interest to speak to a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the defendant was indicted for multiple counts of fraud and receiving healthcare kickbacks in violation of federal law. She entered into a plea agreement for one of the counts and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She began serving her sentence in October 2021 after delaying her surrender date on multiple occasions. She then moved for compassionate release due to the risk of contracting COVID-19 during her incarceration. The government filed a response in opposition to her motion. The court ultimately denied her request.
Grounds for Granting Compassionate Release
While the court noted that the defendant exhausted her administrative remedies as required to seek such relief, it nonetheless found that compassionate release was not warranted for numerous reasons. First, the defendant had not shown that there were compelling and extraordinary reasons supporting her request. Continue Reading ›