In United States v. Giron, No. 20-14018 (Newsom, Lagoa, Anderson) (Oct. 13, 2021), the Court—without oral argument or defense counsel—affirmed the denial of a pro se motion for compassionate release.
First, the Court held that the district court did not err by relying on the policy statement in USSG 1B1.13. The Court held in Bryant that the policy statement binds district courts in their determination as to whether “extraordinary and compelling” reasons exist. The defendant’s medical conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease, were manageable in prison notwithstanding the pandemic, and so he did not satisfy the criteria in Application Note 1(A). And the defendant could not invoke the catchall provision in Application Note 1(D) because, under Bryant, only the BOP Director could invoke that provision.
Second, and relying on its recent decision in Tinker, the Court held that it is not an abuse of discretion for a court to deny relief based solely on a lack of “extraordinary and compelling” reasons, without considering danger to the public or the 3553(a) factors. Before granting relief, a court must find that all three criteria are satisfied, so it may deny relief based on a lack of extraordinary and compelling reasons alone, without considering the 3553(a) factors.