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United States v. Hall

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky

December 13, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
REX HALL, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH M. HOOD SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the “Motion for Compassionate Release” of Defendant, Rex Hall (“Hall”), proceeding, pro se, in the above-styled action. [DE 179]. Specifically, Hall requests that he be released from his incarceration or, otherwise, that this Court reduce his sentence. [Id.]. Hall contends that this Court should grant his motion for compassionate release because there are extraordinary and compelling reasons to do so. [Id.].

         On December 4, 2019, the Court directed the Plaintiff, United States of America (“United States”), to file any response or objection it may have to Hall's motion. [DE 180]. On December 9, 2019, the United States filed its response, arguing that the Court should deny Hall's motion. [DE 181]. In particular, the United States contends that Hall does not have extraordinary and compelling reasons for this Court to grant the requested relief. [DE 181].

         This Court has reviewed the subject motion and the United States response. Accordingly, this matter is ripe for adjudication. Upon review of the subject motion, the United States' response, and being otherwise sufficiently advised, IT IS ORDERED that, for the reasons set forth below, Hall's motion is, and hereby shall be, DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On December 12, 1997, Defendant, Rex Denver Hall, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. Subsequently, on January 8, 1998, a federal grand jury charged Hall with four (4) separate criminal counts, as well as a fifth count pertaining to the forfeiture of proceeds of drug trafficking. [DE 12].

         On March 6, 1998, after a four (4) day jury trial, Hall was convicted on one count each of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine. [DE 58]. Hall was further convicted of one count each of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) as well as aiding and abetting in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2. [Id].

         On June 26, 1998, Hall was sentenced to a term of life imprisonment on each of the four (4) counts. [DE 89]. At the time of his sentencing, Hall was fifty-five (55) years of age.

         Hall has served nearly twenty-two (22) years of his sentence and is now seventy-six (76) years old. Hall will be seventy-seven (77) in January 2020. Hall is now incarcerated at the Victorville Medium I, Federal Correctional Institution (“FCI”) in Adelanto, California.

         On January 22, 2018, Hall filed a request for compassionate release and/or reduction in sentence with the warden of the Warden of FCI Victorville. [DE 179, Ex. A]. In his request, Hall specifically noted that he has chronic and/or serious medical conditions related to his age. However, on March 22, 2019, the Warden administratively denied Hall's request, stating “...you are not experiencing deteriorating mental or physical health that substantially diminishes your ability to function in a correctional facility...” [Id., Ex. B.].

         As a result of the Warden's denial of his request, Hall filed the instant motion on November 25, 2019, requesting a reduction in sentence and/or compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(1)(A) of the First Step Act of 2018. [DE 179].

         II. ANALYSIS

         Hall claims that there are “extraordinary and compelling” reasons for this Court to grant his request for compassionate release and or a reduction in sentence. [DE 179]. In particular Hall claims that he has properly exhausted his administrative remedies, that he has received an “unusually long sentence[, ]” that that he has a “remarkable record of rehabilitation[, ]” and that he is in the later stages of life and in deteriorating health. [DE 179 at 4]. The United States disagrees. [DE 181]. The government argues that Hall cannot satisfy the requirements for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). [Id. at 2, PageID #47]. We agree with the United States.

         On December 21, 2018, the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194, was signed into law. Among other reforms, the First Step Act of 2018 expands the criteria for compassionate release and gives defendants the opportunity to appeal the Bureau of ...


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