United States v. Thacker, No. 20-2943 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Thacker committed several armed robberies in 2002, was convicted under 18 U.S.C. 1951 (commercial robbery) with two accompanying violations of 18 U.S.C. 924(c) for using and carrying a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. The district court sentenced Thacker to 400 months’ imprisonment; seven years were attributable to Thacker’s first 924(c) violation. A consecutive 25 years followed for the second 924(c) violation. Those sentences reflected the mandatory minimum and consecutive terms of imprisonment at the time of Thacker’s sentencing. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.
In August 2020, after exhausting his remedies within the Bureau of Prisons, Thacker sought compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(1)(A), citing the First Step Act’s change to 924(c)’s penalty structure and added health-related considerations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Thacker has Type-2 diabetes and hypertension.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed the denial of Thacker’s motion. The discretion in section 3582(c)(1)(A) to reduce a sentence upon finding “extraordinary and compelling reasons” does not include the authority to reduce 924(c) sentences lawfully imposed before the effective date of the First Step Act’s anti-stacking amendment. The First Step Act’s change to 924(c) applies only prospectively; the amendment, whether considered alone or in connection with other facts and circumstances, cannot constitute an “extraordinary and compelling” reason to authorize a sentencing reduction.