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United States v. Russo

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

April 14, 2020, Decided; April 14, 2020, Filed

16-cr-441 (LJL)

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

LEWIS J. LIMAN, United States District Judge:

Defendant Robert Russo moves this Court for compassionate release, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c).

The Court assumes familiarity with the background of this case, which was set forth in this Court's Order of April 3, 2020. (See Dkt. No. 51.) In brief, Mr. Russo is a 64 year-old man who is currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center ("MCC"). He suffers from many serious medical ailments that put him at high-risk for contracting COVID-19 and for very serious medical consequences should he contract it. See CDC, "Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities" (March 23, 2020), available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/guidance-correctional-detention.pdf ("Correctional and detention facilities can include custody, housing, education, recreation, healthcare, food service, and workplace components [*2]  in a single physical setting. The integration of these components presents unique challenges for control of COVID-19 transmission among incarcerated/detained persons, staff, and visitors."). On October 16, 2018, Mr. Russo was sentenced by Judge Batts to a term of imprisonment of 60 months. He is serving that sentence at the MCC for medical reasons. He is now at the tail end of his term of incarceration and is currently scheduled for release on October 6, 2020.

Mr. Russo made his motion to this Court on March 31, 2020, in which he sought release to a halfway house. He is unable to return home because his mother is in her late eighties. Mr. Russo had no plan to ensure that he did not spread COVID-19 that he might have picked up at MCC to others at the halfway house.

In its Order of April 3, 2020, the Court deferred ruling on Mr. Russo's motion for compassionate release pending a decision on his previously-filed application for such release with the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). (Dkt. No. 54.) In its Order, the Court noted that it could discern "competing objectives" from the language of Section 3582(c):

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65390 *

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -v- ROBERT RUSSO, Defendant.

Prior History: United States v. Russo, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94010 (S.D.N.Y., June 14, 2017)

CORE TERMS

Sentencing, compassionate, exhaustion, policy statement, claim-processing, circumstances, reduction, intent of congress, term of imprisonment, compelling reason, conditions, courts, waived, required to exhaust, non-jurisdictional, mandatory, equitable exception, equitable tolling, medical condition, judicial review, factors, modify