PDF The United States Sentencing Commission, Compassionate Release, and Judicial Discretion: the 2022-2023 Amendment Cycle
The article discusses how federal compassionate release, once reserved for individuals who were terminally ill, medically incapacitated, or advanced in years is now being used , among other things, to release people serving sentences that can no longer be imposed due to changes in the law. Now, the U.S. Sentencing Commission is poised to amend the rules governing compassionate release and has proposed including changes in the law as one of the criteria. This article relates the history of how we got to this point, describes the Commission’s proposal, and poses questions about how the Commission’s decisions will shake out.