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United States v. Goode

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 3, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
GANEENE GOODE, Defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR COMPASSIONATE RELEASE

          Colleen McMahon Chief Judge.

         Ganeene Goode was charged along with ten co-defendants with conspiring to distribute millions of oxycodone tablets, through sham clinics and pain management facilities in New York. Goode pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 48 months' imprisonment. She is presently serving her sentence at the Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Fort Worth Texas. She has served approximately 18 months-her projected release date, with good time credit, is July 29, 2021.

         Before the Court is Goode's motion for compassionate release, filed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582 and the First Step Act. The Government opposes the motion.

         Goode's motion is denied.

         The Compassionate Release Statute

         A court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it has been imposed except pursuant to statute.

         Until last December, a court could not modify a defendant's duly-imposed sentence on compassionate release grounds unless it received a motion from the Bureau of Prisons asking that the court consider such modification. 18 U.S.C.A. § 1B 1.13. Reduction in Term of Imprisonment Under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (Policy Statement) (Effective November 1, 2006; amended effective November 1, 2007; November 1, 2010; November 1, 2016; November 1, 2018).

         In December 2018, as part of the First Step Act, Congress worked a change to that rule of long standing. A court may now consider a motion for compassionate release made by a defendant who has exhausted his administrative remedies by petitioning the Director of the BOP to make such a motion, assuming the Director fails to act on the inmate's request within thirty days:

[T]he court, . . . upon motion of the defendant after the defendant has fully exhausted all administrative rights to appeal a failure of the Bureau of Prisons to bring a motion on the defendant's behalf or the lapse of 30 days from the receipt of such a request by the warden of the defendant's facility, whichever is earlier, may reduce the term of imprisonment...

18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (emphasis added).

         The court may modify a sentence on compassionate release grounds only:

after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, if it finds that... extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction. . . and that such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission ....

         The relevant Sentencing Commission policy statement is found in U.S.S.G. § 1B 1.13. It provides that the Court may reduce the term of imprisonment only if three conditions are met:

(i) extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant the reduction, id. § 1B1.13(1)(A);
(ii) the defendant is not a danger to the safety of any other person or to the community, as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3142(g), id. § 1B1.13(2); and
(iii) "the reduction is consistent with this policy statement, id. § 1B 1.13(3).

         The Application Notes describe the circumstances under which "extraordinary and compelling reasons exist." Id. § 1B 1.13 Application Note 1. One of those is the defendant's medical condition:

(A) Medical Condition of the Defendant.-
(ii) The defendant is-
(I) suffering from a serious physical or medical condition,
(II) suffering from a serious functional or cognitive impairment, or
(III) experiencing deteriorating physical or mental health because of the aging process, that substantially diminishes the ability of the defendant to provide self-care within the environment of a correctional facility and from which he or she is not expected to recover.

Id. ยง 1B1.13 Application Note 1(A). Goode's motion is predicated on her medical condition, which she contends has deteriorated substantially since she ...


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