Excessive Sentence and Age Frees Federal Inmate

April 2, 2021

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Nate Swint was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, two counts of possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to distribute and one count of attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. Sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, Swint has been in federal custody since June 5, 1994 and has thus served nearly twenty-seven years in prison.

Swint, who is seventy years old, suffers from hypertension, hypertensive retinopathy, hyperlipidemia, prediabetes, lower back pain, an enlarged prostate, arthritis, a history of knee replacement surgery, and kyphosis. Additionally, the Government reports that he also suffers from anemia, dermatitis/eczema, edema, esophageal reflux, shoulder pain, spinal stenosis, vitamin D deficiency, and neuralgia/neuritis. Finally, Swint also has a history of smoking and a body mass index (“BMI”) of 28.4, meaning he is overweight. The court acknowledges that these health conditions put him at an increased risk of suffering severe consequences from contracting COVID-19.

The Court thus concluded that, taken together, (1) Swint’s excessive sentence of life imprisonment; (2) Swint’s age, time served, and declining health; and (3) the increased risks to Swint’s health due to the COVID-19 pandemic present extraordinary and compelling circumstances warranting compassionate release in this case.

About Brandon Sample

Brandon Sample is an attorney, author, and criminal justice reform activist. Brandon’s law practice is focused on federal criminal defense, federal appeals, federal post-conviction relief, federal civil rights litigation, federal administrative law, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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