Stockton Attorney secures release for COVID-19-risk prisoner in jail. The COVID-19 outbreak at a California prison prompted Stockton Attorney Allen Sawyer to rebuke a denied motion. Mr. Sawyer (and counsel) filed and won a motion for reconsideration. This motion was successful in getting the inmate out of harm’s way.
Thanks to Attorney Allen Sawyer, an Illinois man was the first to be released for fear of contracting the coronavirus. This man was held in federal custody in a California prison. A COVID-19 outbreak in the prison created a risk for the inmates. California Criminal Defense Attorney Allen Sawyer filed a motion for reconsideration with United States District Judge Dale A. Drozd of the Eastern District of California arguing that his client’s personal safety was at risk.
Judge Drozd, who denied the initial motion, reversed course, and ordered the immediate release of Attorney Allen Sawyer’s client.
“The government cannot violate our client’s Fifth Amendment right to due process and Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment,” said Sawyer. “The judge recognized the danger posed by this virus and the risk to Mark N. if he continued to remain in custody.”
Stockton Attorney Secures Release for COVID-19-Risk Prisoner
The client originally faced 18 charges—including assault with a semiautomatic weapon and first degree robbery. Most noteworthy, his case was taken up by Attorney Allen Sawyer (and Rosenfeld), the legal duo who litigated the case for 16 months. Consequently, this resulted in a plea bargain for the client. While awaiting sentencing in the Kern County Jail in Bakersfield, California, a coronavirus outbreak occurred. As a result, several inmates and workers inside the prison in close proximity to Allen Sawyer’s client, tested positive for COVID-19. The defense attorney team of Sawyer and Rosenfeld interceded on the client’s behalf. By way of the United States District Judge Dale A. Drozd of the Eastern District of California, they proved that the client’s personal safety was at risk.
The event of this client’s release stands as the first occasion in California in which a federal inmate facing sentencing has been released from custody during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We appreciate Judge Drozd for valuing our client’s rights,” said Sawyer. “This was a case of first impression for California, and the Court got it right.”
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