In the case, defendant Liberty Jaramillo pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud, per 18 U.S.C. § 1349, in June 2017. His sentence of 36 months’ imprisonment was handed down in May 2018, but because of his age and medical conditions — including tachycardia, heart palpitations, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, gout attacks, and hyperthyroidism — his surrender date was extended. Jaramillo eventually reported to federal prison in November 2020.
Soon after Jaramillo’s incarceration, he filed a motion for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). This statute allows for prisoners to petition for early release because of “extraordinary or compelling circumstances which could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing.”
In Jaramillo’s situation, it was his age and medical history, coupled with the nature of a prison’s close quarters, that would make him vulnerable to COVID-19 — a pandemic that “could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court” at his May 2018 sentencing.
One stipulation for a compassionate release request is that it be served before the warden, who will have 30 days to respond to it. In Jaramillo’s case, the warden did not respond, so our attorneys stepped in.