United States v. Shkambi, No. 20-40543 (5th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The U.S. Sentencing Commission's compassionate-release policy statement does not bind district courts in considering prisoners' motions under the First Step Act.
The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's judgment concluding otherwise. The court concluded that the district court's jurisdictional concerns were misplaced and that the district court plainly had jurisdiction over defendant's 18 U.S.C. 3582 motion. In this case, the district court concluded that an exception to the rule of finality did not apply (on the merits), and then the district court purported to dismiss the motion (rather than deny it). The court also concluded that neither the policy statement nor the commentary to it binds a district court addressing a prisoner's own motion under section 3582. The court stated that the district court on remand is bound only by section 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) and, as always, the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a). Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings.