Specialized treatment for cancer leads to early release from prison.

May 21, 2021

Specialized Treatment

United States v. Jackson

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division

2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96110

Need for specialized treatment leads to compassionate release 

Anthony D. Jackson suffers from several debilitating medical conditions, including hypertension, borderline, diabetes, and other heart conditions. As has been well-established at this point, serious complications and/or death from COVID-19 is a major risk for those with underlying health conditions. Add to that the fact that the virus has run rampant throughout many prisons across the country, and Jackson felt he had good cause to put in a request for compassionate release in 2020.

Although his first request was denied, Jackson filed another just a few months later after being diagnosed with lymphoma, on the basis that those who suffer from cancer are at greater risk from complications if they were to contract COVID-19. Again, Jackson was turned down, this time due to the fact that there was no outbreak of COVID-19 at the prison where he was incarcerated at the time.

Jackson found himself in prison due to a charge from 2017  of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty to the indictment and on May 9, 2018, Jackson was sentenced to 67 months in prison with credit for time served. He had an expected release date of April 2, 2022.

While Jackson was able to transfer to FMC Butner to receive chemotherapy treatment, after completing six rounds of chemo the cancer persisted and doctors let him know he needed CAR T-Cell therapy to treat his cancer, something not available to him at FMC Butner. Thus, he found himself back in court again, filing another motion for compassionate release in order to undergo this treatment outside of the prison system.

When weighing his case, the court acknowledged the doctors’ diagnosis of Jackson’s cancer to be “malignant,” “high grade,” and “aggressive.” Additionally, they noted that Jackson was set to be released regardless in no more than approximately 11 months and asserted that due to the COVID-19 risks combined with Jackson’s deteriorating health,Jackson’s time in prison to date was adequate to achieve much of the original sentence’s purpose in terms of reflecting the seriousness of the offense, promoting respect for the law, providing just punishment, and providing a deterrent effect. Finally, the point was made that Jackson’s “chronic unrelenting pain” makes it highly unlikely that he will pose a danger to others once released. Therefore, Jackson’s motion was granted and he was released. He can now receive the specialized treatment he needs.