United States v. Orbie Chambliss

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    Case: 19-50741 Document: 00515288292 Page: 1 Date Filed: 01/28/2020 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED No. 19-50741 January 28, 2020 Summary Calendar Lyle W. Cayce Clerk UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff – Appellee v. ORBIE DALE CHAMBLISS, Defendant – Appellant Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Before HIGGINBOTHAM, HO, and ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judges. KURT D. ENGELHARDT, Circuit Judge: Defendant-Appellant Orbie Dale Chambliss appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), a part of the First Step Act of 2018. On appeal, Chambliss contends the district court abused its discretion by denying the reduction. For the reasons stated, we AFFIRM. I. Orbie Dale Chambliss was convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine in 2005 and was sentenced as a career offender to concurrent prison sentences of 360 months and 240 months. In September 2018, he was diagnosed with Case: 19-50741 Document: 00515288292 Page: 2 Date Filed: 01/28/2020 No. 19-50741 advanced-stage liver cancer, and he was given “a poor prognosis of 2 to 3 months” life expectancy. Medical treatment at the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Federal Medical Center (FMC) Rochester, Minnesota, has extended his life, but the prognosis is still terminal. The Federal Public Defender (FPD) advised the district court in May 2019 that Chambliss’ condition was deteriorating. Chambliss is 62 years old. Following his terminal illness diagnosis, Chambliss began the process of seeking a compassionate release reduction in sentence, and he formulated a plan for his release. The BOP approved his “pursuit of an early release,” and in February 2019, the BOP found that Chambliss was eligible for a compassionate reduction in sentence because his illness was terminal. Nonetheless, the BOP denied his request for compassionate release, citing “the serious nature of [his] offense and his violent criminal history,” and concluding that “his release at this time would minimize the severity of his offense.” Chambliss then filed in the district court a motion to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i), a part of the First Step Act of 2018. See 132 Stat. 5194 (First Step Act of 2018). The district court denied the motion. Chambliss timely filed a notice of appeal. II. A court, on a motion by the BOP or by the defendant after exhausting all BOP remedies, may reduce or modify a term of imprisonment, probation, or supervised release after considering the factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), if “extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction.” § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). 1 In commentary, the Sentencing Guidelines describe 1 Prior to the First Step Act of 2018, a district court could grant relief under § 3582(c)(1)(A) only on a motion by the BOP. Compare 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (West 2018) (allowing either the BOP or a prisoner to make a motion to modify his sentence) with 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (West 2002) (only allowing the BOP to make a motion to modify …Original document

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