United States v. Turnipseed

Full title: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. ALFRED TURNIPSEED

Court: United States District Court, D. South Carolina

Date published: Dec 17, 2021

Facts

This matter is before the court on the defendant’s pro se motion for a reduction in his sentence pursuant to the First Step Act of 2018 and 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (ECF No. 523). He contends that he has suffered a major stroke, possibly due to coronavirus complications, and may die if another outbreak occurs within the prison. He also states that he is obese and has received limited medical treatment to date.

The government has responded in opposition and contends that the defendant has not had a stroke (ECF No. 529). The government states that the defendant’s medical records do not support that he has had a stroke or that he had tested positive for COVID-19 before he filed the motion for compassionate release.

In his reply to the government’s response, the defendant complains that whatever the cause of his medical condition—whether a stroke or something else—he is still suffering from the same symptoms as an individual who has suffered a stroke. He claims he is still blind in his left eye and paralyzed down his entire left side, in addition to being illiterate and schizophrenic. As a result, he cannot take care of himself in a correctional setting.

The defendant raises a new claim in his reply (ECF No. 533). He contends that he is currently serving a sentence for a stacked § 924(c) conviction and that if he were sentenced today, he would receive a much shorter sentence.

Issue

Decision

The court found a compelling reason for relief under § 3582(c)(1)(A) for the defendant’s stacked § 924(c) charges, despite the severity of the offenses. The First Step Act changes reduced the defendant’s sentence to 180 months, with a supervised release term of 3 years remaining. The court considered the severity of the crimes, the defendant’s attempts to obstruct justice, dismissal of other counts, and other § 3553(a) factors to order the reduction.

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