Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Cook: Vacating Denial of Compassionate Release Motion for Failure to Consider 3553(a) Factors

In United States v. Cook, No. 20-13292 (May 27, 2021) (Jordan, Marcus, Ginsburg (CADC)), the Court vacated the denial of a motion for compassionate release and remanded for further proceedings.

The Court held that, as in the 3583(e) and 3582(c)(2) contexts, the district court must consider the 3553(a) factors under 3582(c)(1)(A)(i).  The Court vacated the denial because the district court’s order and record failed to demonstrate that the court considered the 3553(a) factors.  The motion was based primarily on the pandemic, but the court’s order failed to mention it.  The court’s boilerplate prefatory language, and the fact that the judge originally presided over the criminal case, did not permit an assumption that the court considered the 3553(a) factors.  Because the record did not permit meaningful appellate review, the Court vacated and remanded.