Cases & Deals

Pro bono client serving ten-year sentence for non-violent drug offense obtains compassionate release

Client(s) Ferguson, Gadelle D.

On March 5, 2021, Jones Day secured the compassionate release of Gadelle Ferguson, in light of the fact that his pre-existing health conditions rendered him uniquely susceptible to an elevated risk of severe illness or death if he were to contract COVID-19 in federal prison. Mr. Ferguson returned home to his family on March 8, 2021.

In July 2018, Mr. Ferguson was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment on one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He was assigned to serve his sentence at USP Leavenworth, which later became one of the BOP facilities hardest hit by COVID-19. As of March 5, 2021, 891 of the facility's approximately 1,500 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19 and two had died.

Jones Day argued that Mr. Ferguson's sentence should be reduced due to his pre-existing medical conditions and the 3553(a) sentencing factors. On March 5, 2021, the Chief Judge for the District of Minnesota granted the motion. Mr. Ferguson will serve the remainder of his term on supervised release.

United States v. Ferguson, No. 17-204 (JRT/BRT) (D. Minn.)