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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. MAHMOUD AGUIBI
Case Number: 20-2994
Judge: PER CURIAM
Court: UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
Philadelphia, PA - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant with five counts of Hobbs Act robbery, and two counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to two of the robberies chargse.
In the fall of 2015, Aguibi robbed ten deliverymen at gunpoint in Philadelphia. He
pleaded guilty in the District Court to five counts of Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1951(a), and two counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during
and in relation to two of the robberies, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1). Aguibi was
sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release,
and $6,225.44 in restitution. Aguibi is currently serving his sentence at Federal
Correctional Institution, Allenwood Low (“FCI Allenwood Low”). His anticipated
release date is July 26, 2028.
In May 2020, Aguibi filed a pro se motion for compassionate release based on
“extraordinary and compelling reasons” under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i).1
motion, Aguibi asserted that, due to numerous underlying health conditions—including
latent tuberculosis and a heart murmur—he was at risk of serious complications or death
should he contract COVID-19. He further asserted that he was unable to practice
1 It is undisputed that Aguibi complied with § 3582(c)(1)(A)’s thirty-day lapse provision
by filing a request for compassionate release with his warden before turning to the
District Court. See 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (providing that a prisoner can file a
motion with the court upon the “lapse of 30 days from the receipt of [a request for
compassionate release] by the warden of the defendant’s facility.”).3
effective social distancing and hygiene at the prison in order to keep himself safe. With
respect to the § 3553(a) sentencing factors, Aguibi asserted that “there is no evidence that
the defendant poses a danger, being a first[-]time offender,” Mot. 7, ECF No. 114, and
that he had taken significant steps toward rehabilitation by participating in educational
and job-readiness programs. Based on these reasons, he asked the District Court to
modify his sentence to “time-served and or time served with the remainder of his
sentence on supervised release with a condition of home confinement and order
immediate release.”2 Mot. 8, ECF No. 114.
The District Court denied the motion, concluding that, after considering the
parties’ arguments and the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors, a reduction in Aguibi’s term of
imprisonment was not warranted.
Aguibi appealed. The Government now moves for summary affirmance. See 3d
Cir. L.A.R. 27.4.
2 To the extent that Aguibi requested a transition to home confinement, the Bureau of
Prisons has the sole authority to place a prisoner in home confinement. See Tapia v.
United States, 564 U.S. 319, 331 (2011) (“When a court sentences a federal offender, the
BOP has plenary control, subject to statutory constraints, over the place of the prisoner’s
imprisonment and the treatment programs (if any) in which he may participate.” (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted); see also United States v. Alam, 960 F.3d 831, 836
(6th Cir. 2020) (explaining that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
(CARES) Act, § 1203(b)(2), expands the power of the Bureau of Prisons to place a
prisoner in home confinement as an alternative to compassionate release). 4
We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review the District Court’s
ruling on a motion for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) for
abuse of discretion. See United States v. Pawlowski, 967 F.3d 327, 330 (3d Cir. 2020).
We may summarily affirm if “no substantial question is presented” by the appeal. 3d Cir.
The compassionate-release provision states that a district court “may reduce [a
federal inmate’s] term of imprisonment” and “impose a term of probation or supervised
release” if it finds that “extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction.”
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Before granting compassionate release, a district court
must consider the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) “to the extent that they are
applicable.” Id. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Those factors include “the nature and circumstances of
the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant,” § 3553(a)(1), and the
need for the sentence “to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the
law, and to provide just punishment for the offense”; “to afford adequate deterrence to
criminal conduct”; “to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant”; and “to
provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or
other correctional treatment in the most effective manner,” § 3553(a)(2)(A)–(D).5
Having carefully reviewed the record and the parties’ filings, we discern no abuse
of discretion in the District Court’s decision to deny the motion for compassionate
release. The District Court reasonably determined that, in light of the seriousness of
Aguibi’s offenses, several of the § 3553(a) factors—including promoting respect for the
law, providing just punishment for the offenses, and protecting the public from future
crimes—counseled against compassionate release. The District Court also reasonably
determined that the fact that Aguibi had served less than half of his 180-month sentence
weighed against him. See Pawlowski, 967 F.3d at 331 (“[W]e cannot conclude that the
District Court acted unreasonably in determining that the substantial sentencing reduction
required for granting compassionate release here—a reduction from 15 years to less than
two years—would be inconsistent with the § 3553(a) factors”). Lastly, contrary to
Aguibi’s contention, the District Court provided an explanation sufficient to show that he
meaningfully considered the § 3553(a) factors. We therefore do not have “a definite and
firm conviction that [the District Court] committed a clear error of judgment in the
conclusion it reached upon a weighing of the relevant factors.” Id. (citation, quotation
marks, and alteration omitted).
Outcome: Accordingly, we grant the Government’s motion and will summarily affirm the
District Court’s judgment.