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United States v. Morgan

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 29, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff(s),
v.
RONALD GENE MORGAN, Defendant(s).

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is defendant Ronald Gene Morgan's motion for release. (ECF No. 77). The government filed a response (ECF Nos. 78, 79), to which defendant replied (ECF No. 80).

         I. FACTS

         On February 7, 2017, defendant pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. (ECF No. 64). On September 25, 2017, the court sentenced defendant to 24 months of custody to be followed by three years of supervised release. (ECF No. 71). The court also ordered defendant to self-surrender on January 29, 2018. Id.

         On January 5, 2018, the parties stipulated to delay defendant's self-surrender date for 90 days. (ECF No. 75). The basis for the delay was to allow defendant to receive two medical procedures on his eyes, which were in diminishing health. Id. On May 4, 2018, defendant self-surrendered in compliance with the court's order. (ECF Nos. 77, 78).

         Since beginning his term of incarceration, defendant has gone blind in his left eye and is legally blind in his right eye. (ECF No. 77). On January 28, 2019, defendant requested that his warden release him from custody so he may receive eye treatment. (ECF No. 77-1). On February 14, 2019, the warden denied defendant's request on the grounds that the prison's medical department is managing and treating defendant's medical condition. (ECF No. 78-2).

         On February 24, 2019, defendant filed an appeal, which was denied for being illegible. (ECF No. 77-2). Defendant represents that he cannot write legibly due to his poor eye sight. (ECF No. 77). On February 27, 2019, defendant filed a motion for early release so that he may obtain proper medical treatment for his condition. Id. Defendant is currently 64 years old and is scheduled to be placed in a residential re-entry center in August 2019. (ECF Nos. 77, 78-2).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A federal court “may modify an imposed term of imprisonment to the extent otherwise expressly permitted by statute or by Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(B). 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) provides that a court can make such modification in two circumstances: (1) upon motion from the director of the bureau of prisons or (2) upon motion from the defendant after the defendant exhausted administrative rights or 30 days after the warden receives the defendant's request for modification.[1]

         Defendant submitted a request for modification to the warden on January 28, 2019. (ECF No. 77-1). Because defendant filed the instant motion 30 days later, defendant has complied with § 3582(c)(1)(A). Accordingly, the court will consider the merits of defendant's request.

         Federal courts can modify an imposed term of imprisonment when:

(i) extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction; or
(ii) the defendant is at least 70 years of age, has served at least 30 years in prison, pursuant to a sentence imposed under section 3559(c), for the offense or offenses for which the defendant is currently imprisoned, and a determination has been made by the Director of the Bureau of Prisons that the defendant is not a danger to the safety of any other person or the community, as provided under section 3142(g);
and that such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the ...

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