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Remand for Compassionate Release Motion

United States v. Aruda Docket: 20-10245, Opinion Date: April 8, 2021.The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's order denying defendant's motion for compassionate release under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). The panel held that the current version of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual 1B1.13 is not an "applicable policy statement issued by the Sentencing Commission" for motions filed by a defendant under the recently amended section 3582(c)(1)(A). The panel explained that the First Step Act of 2018 amended section 3582(c)(1)(A) to allow for defendants, in addition to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director, to file a motion, but section 1B1.13 has not since been amended and only references motions filed by the BOP Director. The dangerousness finding is part of the Sentencing Commission's policy statement in U.S.S.G. 1B1.13(2), but is not statutorily required under section 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Because the district court relied on section 1B1.13, the panel remanded so that the district court can reassess defendant's motion under the correct legal standard.

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