United States v. Thompson, No. 20-40381 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's request for compassionate release from prison on account of his underlying health issues and the COVID-19 pandemic. Defendant had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that there were no extraordinary and compelling reasons to warrant compassionate release. The court acknowledged that defendant's chronic illnesses place him at a higher risk of severe symptoms should he contract COVID, but agreed with the district court that it is uncertain that defendant is at a significantly higher risk than is the general inmate population. In this case, defendant can point to no case in which a court, on account of the pandemic, has granted compassionate release to an otherwise healthy defendant with two, well-controlled, chronic medical conditions and who had completed less than half of his sentence.