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Date: 09-19-2021

Case Style:

United States of America v. John Sanchez

Case Number: 21-50133

Judge: Before Barksdale, Costa, and Engelhardt, Circuit Judges. Per Curiam

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

New Orleans, LA - Criminal defense Lawyer Directory


New Orleans, LA - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant with a conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine charge.

John Sanchez, federal prisoner # 03718-180, pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, five kilograms or more of
cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 846 and 841(b)(1)(A). Sanchez was
sentenced to, inter alia, an agreed 240 months’ imprisonment. He challenges
the denial of his motion for a sentence reduction for compassionate release,
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). Sanchez contends the district court
abused its discretion by denying his motion without providing an adequate
As reflected above, denial of a motion for compassionate release is
reviewed for abuse of discretion. United States v. Chambliss, 948 F.3d 691,
693 (5th Cir. 2020). A district court may modify defendant’s sentence, after
considering the applicable 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) sentencing factors, if
“extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction”. 18
U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Along that line, the court must provide specific
reasons for its decision to deny a sentence-reduction motion. Chambliss, 948
F.3d at 693 (explaining thorough factual record necessary because our court
gives deference to district court’s decision). The required amount of
explanation, of course, depends “upon the circumstances of the particular
case”. Chavez-Meza v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 1959, 1965 (2018) (explaining
“[i]n some cases, it may be sufficient for purposes of appellate review that
the judge simply relied upon the record, while making clear that he or she has
considered the parties’ arguments and taken account of the § 3553(a) factors,
among others”).
Contrary to Sanchez’ claim, the court sufficiently explained its
reasons for denying compassionate release. Although the explanation in its
order was extremely brief, the court referenced Sanchez’sentence-reduction
motion and the Government’s response; and the court stated it considered
the relevant § 3553(a) factors before concluding the reduction was not
warranted. Moreover, because both Sanchez’ motion and especially the
Government’s response contained assertions regarding the sentencing
factors, the record confirms the court considered those factors. See ChavezCase: 21-50133 Document: 00516018488 Page: 2 Date Filed: 09/17/2021
No. 21-50133
Meza, 138 S. Ct. at 1967-68 (explaining district court’s “awareness” of
parties’ contentions can assist in revealing its reasoning).


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