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Faced 3+ Years in Prison

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Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

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Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

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Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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Federal Compassionate Release In Time Of Covid 19

Federal Compassionate Release In Time Of Covid 19

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in the use of compassionate release in the federal prison system. Compassionate release allows courts to reduce the sentences of incarcerated people for “extraordinary and compelling reasons.” This article will examine how the First Step Act of 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted compassionate release, the reasons courts grant or deny relief, and the implications going forward.

Background on Compassionate Release

Compassionate release is a process by which incarcerated people can get their sentences reduced by a federal judge. The compassionate release statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), allows courts to reduce sentences for “extraordinary and compelling reasons.”

Compassionate release has existed for decades, but was rarely used before 2018. Back then, only the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) could file motions for compassionate release in court. The First Step Act changed the law to allow prisoners themselves to file compassionate release motions after exhausting administrative remedies within BOP. This crucial change enabled a huge increase in the use of compassionate release.

Impact of the First Step Act

The First Step Act has led to many more incarcerated people filing motions and being granted compassionate release[1]:

  • In the year before the First Step Act, only 34 motions were filed and 6 were granted.
  • In 2019, the first year under the new law, 145 motions were granted.
  • In 2020, 1805 motions were granted – a 12x increase!

By allowing prisoners to directly petition courts, the First Step Act made compassionate release accessible to far more people. Over 95% of people granted release in 2020 filed their own motions.

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Compassionate Release

The COVID-19 pandemic supercharged the use of compassionate release. While the First Step Act increased access, COVID-19 led to a huge spike in grants of relief[2]:

  • 95% of compassionate release grants in 2020 happened after COVID-19 hit in March[1].
  • Grants peaked in July 2020 at 403, compared to just 10 in February[2].

Courts cited COVID-19 risks as a reason for release in over 70% of grants in 2020[1]. Many people got out early because COVID posed grave health risks if they stayed incarcerated.

Reasons for Granting Compassionate Release

Courts cited a variety of “extraordinary and compelling reasons” for granting compassionate release in 2020[1]:

  • 71.5% – COVID-19 health risks
  • 16.5% – Medical issues
  • 3.2% – Sentence was too long
  • 2.8% – Family circumstances like death of a caregiver
  • 1.7% – Age of the prisoner

Though not in the Sentencing Commission’s policy statement, a small number of courts cited sentence length as a justification for release. There is disagreement on whether this is a legally valid reason under the statute[1].

Average Sentence Reduction

Among those granted compassionate release in 2020[1]:

  • The average sentence reduction was 59 months
  • The average percentage of sentence reduced was 42.6%

Those granted release for COVID-19 got slightly shorter reductions (57 months) than those granted it for other medical reasons (65 months) [1].

Geographic and Demographic Disparities

The likelihood of being granted compassionate release depended heavily on geography and demographics in 2020:

  • 47.5% grant rate in the First Circuit Court of Appeals (New England), compared to just 13.7% in the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi) [1]
  • 61.5% grant rate for prisoners aged 75+, but under 20% for those under 45[1]

This data indicates major disparities in how compassionate release is applied.

Exhausting Administrative Remedies

Courts disagreed on whether prisoners had to exhaust all administrative remedies within BOP before filing for compassionate release in court, especially during COVID-19. Most circuits enforced the exhaustion requirement, while some waived it during the pandemic[3].

Concerns with Implementation

While compassionate release usage surged, some concerns emerged about how the process works:

  • No clear standards on what qualifies as “extraordinary and compelling reasons”[2]
  • Bureau of Prisons has been slow to identify eligible candidates[3]
  • Lack of legal representation for many prisoners applying[4]
  • Racial disparities in who applies and is approved[5]

Advocates argue more reforms are needed for compassionate release to work effectively and equitably.

Looking Ahead

Compassionate release usage declined in 2021 after peaking during the first COVID wave in 2020. But the changes brought by the First Step Act are likely permanent. Thousands of federal prisoners will likely continue to get released early through compassionate release each year.

Key questions remain on how to improve and standardize the process. It will be important to address disparities in application and approval rates. Continued advocacy and litigation will shape how compassionate release evolves. But it is clear the First Step Act and COVID-19 pandemic have permanently changed the criminal justice landscape.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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