Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Lack of rationale for denying compassionate release prompts Jacobson remand.

In United States v. Nosov, No. 21-187-cr (2d Cir. March 17, 2022) (summary order), the Second Circuit ordered a limited remand for clarification of a court’s denial of a motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C, § 3582(c)(1)(A), pursuant to United States v. Jacobson, 15 F.3d 129 (2d Cir. 1994).

In Nosov, the defendant moved for a reduction of his concurrent life terms, citing his youth at the time of the offenses, his rehabilitation, and his health conditions. The government agreed that the defendant’s obesity put him at increased risk from COVID-19, and that this could constitute an extraordinary and compelling reason for a sentence reduction.

Nonetheless, without further explanation, the district court opined that the defendant had not shown “extenuating and compelling” reasons warranting a reduction and denied the motion. This finding was in tension with the government’s concession and the Circuit noted that the court’s order “provides no explanation that might resolve this discrepancy and, more generally, offers little explanation as it its reasoning.” Under these circumstances, the Circuit found the district court did not sufficiently explain its decision to deny the motion. It remanded for the limited purpose of a clarification of the order, adding “the district court may wish on remand to consider expressly the arguments that [the defendant] has made in favor of compassionate release.”

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