Prison Provided Compassionate Release Forms
April 27th, 2021
Considering filing a compassionate release yourself using the compassionate release forms provided by your unit team? Better think twice as this case will show.
James Thomas Lifsey (United States v. Lifsey, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79200) is an inmate currently serving time at Texarkana. In January 2015 he was convicted of multiple counts of production and possession of child pornography and sentenced to a term of 192 months.
As a sex offender, James faced an uphill battle from the start. Although many sex offenders have been released under compassionate release, these cases are always more difficult to present to the court. James case was particularly challenging because he had not only viewed child pornography, but had produced it. According to the government James is “now a sex offender who made contact with a child victim and he used the child to produce sexually explicit imagery for distribution to others and for his own deviant gratification.”
Surely James should have known this would be the response from the government. Perhaps he just had some free time on his hands and felt like wasting the court’s time with a fill-in-the-blank form which offered no real evidence that would compel the court to disregard the government’s concerns. However, his motion was doomed from the start and the filing of it has only made any future attempts at early release more difficult.
In the court’s ruling they specifically mentioned that James didn’t file a reply to the government’s above assertions “despite being given an opportunity to do so”. Failure to reply is essentially accepting the government arguments. Had James had an attorney (or even a decent paralegal), they would have told him as much.
It is no surprise that the judge ruled against James. The court not only found that he had no extraordinary and compelling reason for release, but he also found that the 3553(a) factors make him a continuing threat to society. As a criminal defendant you automatically face an uphill battle which is why it is critical that you don’t help the other side by presenting weak arguments to the court that allow the court to make a renewed finding of fact that you are dangerous. In most requests for compassionate release, filing of BOP provided compassionate release forms with the court is doing just that.
Documents released to this compassionate release forms example:
James Lifsey PRO SE Motion for Compassionate Release
Government’s Response to James Thomas Lifsey
United States v. Lifsey, 2021 Judge Ruling