Eisner Gorin partner Alan Eisner represented a federal criminal defendant (referred to as “D.P.” for privacy reasons) in the Central District of California.
In November 2017, he was convicted following a jury trial of conspiracy to use interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire.
The jury found that he had attempted to hire a hit man to kill a business rival.
In April 2018, he was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison, with a projected release date of September 2023.
He suffers from end stage organ disease. Beginning in early 2019, attorney Alan Eisner, assisted by firm associate Robert Hill, moved the court to grant him “compassionate release.”
This is a procedure by which a sentencing court can reduce an inmate's term of imprisonment in the case of either a very elderly inmate or one, like D.P., who suffers from a terminal illness.
Federal Prosecutor Opposed Release
The government strongly opposed his release, arguing initially that:
- his life expectancy was too long to be worthy of compassionate release consideration, and that even if he was terminally ill;
- he should be detained because he posed an unreasonable risk to public safety, and;
- he had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies in the Bureau of Prison prior to filing a petition with the court as required by federal law.
Multiple rounds of contested litigation followed. The court denied his initial motion for compassionate release after finding that he failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
Administrative appeals in federal court
After pursuing several levels of administrative appeals, he filed his second motion in December 2019, but ultimately withdrew it due to issues with expert witnesses.
The client's third and final motion for compassionate release was filed in March 2020. By that time, the COVID-19 pandemic was:
- becoming a clear and present danger to the public, and
- in particular, to individuals in custodial settings where sanitation was a concern even before the public health emergency.
Combined with his organ failure, he was at a highly increased risk of serious complications if he should contract COVID-19 while in federal prison.
The government again opposed his release on the same grounds as it had asserted previously, but with a new wrinkle.
Because he had only pursued administrative appeals as to his organ disease, and not specifically regarding COVID-19, the government asserted, he has still failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Court Granted Compassionate Release After Arguments
Mr. Eisner argued forcefully that the Federal Bureau of Prisons confusing, and often contradictory, procedures and policies regarding administrative petitions and appeals had set him up to fail.
It appeared that no matter which form he filled out or to whom he submitted it, it would always be found deficient.
After numerous briefs both in support and opposition of his renewed motion for compassionate release, the court took the matter under advisement.
Shortly before Christmas 2020, the sentencing court released a detailed order setting out its factual findings and legal conclusions. The court granted his request for compassionate release, noting that:
- he was at extreme risk for COVID-19 while in the Bureau of Prisons, and
- the court had certainly never intended to issue a death sentence in his case.
He was released from custody and placed on supervised release. He resides with his wife, who remained his foremost advocate throughout the many years of his journey through the justice system.
Criminal Defense for Federal Crimes
Eisner Gorin LLP is a criminal defense law firm in Los Angeles representing clients in California throughout the United States.
In addition to practice in California state courts, our law firm partners, Alan Eisner, Dmitry Gorin, and their associate Robert Hill, focus on federal court litigation including in white collar and complex federal criminal cases.
We also handle federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, healthcare fraud, drug conspiracy, RICO charges, bank fraud, securities fraud, child pornography, and more.
Our law firm is located at 1999 Avenue of the Stars, 11th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90067.
Our main office is in the San Fernando Valley area of LA County next to the Van Nuys Superior Court at 14401 Sylvan St #112 Van Nuys, CA 91401.
Contact our office for an initial consultation at (877) 781-1570.
Compassionate Release and Reduction of Sentence: Procedures for Implementation of 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(A) and 4205(g)