Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Home / Case Digests / Compassionate Release- Sentencing Guidelines-COVID-19

Compassionate Release- Sentencing Guidelines-COVID-19

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Stanley Vaughn

Case No.: 22-2427

Officials: Easterbrook, Brennan, and St. Eve, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Compassionate Release- Sentencing Guidelines-COVID-19

Serving a 262-month sentence for heroin-related crimes, Vaughn has repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, sought compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(1). (Vaughn has a separate 240-month sentence, running consecutive to the 262-month sentence, imposed in a different district.) He contended in his latest effort that his health conditions (asthma, obesity, and hypertension) put him at extra risk should he contract COVID-19; that he has completed classes demonstrating his rehabilitation; and that his sentence is excessive in light of current legal standards. The district judge deemed his arguments “generic” and denied his application. 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129808 (C.D. Ill. July 21, 2022).

COVID-19 has been a fact of life for more than three years. For prisoners who have received a vaccine, the risk of serious complications should they develop a breakthrough infection is modest. Vaughn has not provided or pointed to any medical data suggesting that his combination of conditions puts him at serious risk should he develop a breakthrough infection. Likewise he has not provided any data suggesting that he is at greater risk of a dire outcome inside prison than he would be outside—and if he would remain at comparable risk outside prison, the possibility of infection cannot be described as an “extraordinary and compelling” consideration supporting release. (The statute conditions compassionate release on “extraordinary and compelling reasons”.)


Decided 03/15/23

Full Text

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *