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Masters v. Hyde

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Eastern Division

February 16, 2018

WAYNE HOWARD MASTERS, Reg. #20662-009 PLAINTIFF
v.
KEN HYDE, Acting Assistant Director, et al. DEFENDANTS

          RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION

         The following Recommended Disposition ("Recommendation") has been sent to United States District James M. Moody, Jr. Any party may file written objections to this Recommendation. Objections must be specific and include the factual or legal basis for disagreeing with the Recommendation. An objection to a factual finding must specifically identify the finding of fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that supports that belief.

         An original and one copy of the objections must be received by the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this Recommendation. If no objections are filed, Judge Moody can adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing all of the evidence in the record. By not objecting, you may also waive any right to appeal questions of fact.

         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Wayne Howard Masters ("Masters") is a prisoner in the Forrest City Federal Prison Camp. He has filed a pro se Bivens Complaint alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights. Doc. 2. Before Masters may proceed with action, the Court must screen his allegations.[1]

         II. Discussion

         In 2015, Masters was sentenced to five years in federal prison. Doc. 2. This case involves Masters's attempt to obtain a compassionate release or reduction in sentence, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), which provides, in pertinent part, that:

(A) the court, upon motion of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, may reduce the term of imprisonment (and may impose a term of probation or supervised release with or without conditions that does not exceed the unserved portion of the original term of imprisonment), after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, if it finds that -
(i) extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction;
* * *
and that such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission.

(Emphasis added).

         To obtain consideration for a § 3582(c)(1)(A) compassionate release or a reduction in sentence, a federal prisoner must submit a request to the Warden of the facility where he is incarcerated. 28 C.F.R. § 571.61. If the Warden determines that the prisoner meets the guidelines established in BOP Program Statement 5050.49, the request is sent to the Office of the General Counsel for review. Id.; BOP Program Statement 5050.49. If the General Counsel agrees, the request is forwarded to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, who then decides, in his or her discretion, whether to file a petition asking the sentencing court for a compassionate release or reduction in sentence. Id. Even if the prisoner is successful at all three discretionary review stages within the BOP, it is ultimately within the sentencing court's discretion to deny or grant the petition. See § 3582(c)(1)(A).

         In April of 2017, Masters submitted a request to Defendant Warden Beasley ("Beasley") seeking consideration for a § 3582(c)(1)(A) compassionate release or reduction in sentence because he was seventy-four years old and had Parkinson's disease, which Masters believes is a "debilitating" and "terminal" medical condition as defined by Program Statement 5050.49. Doc. 2 at Ex. 1. In conjunction with Masters's request, Defendant Nurse Practitioner Lamarre completed a Reduction in Sentence Medical Review Form, in which she concluded that Masters did not have a "debilitating" or "terminal" medical condition. Id. at 38.

         Masters alleges that Beasely has not made a decision on or acknowledged receipt of his request. Masters also contends that Defendants Camp Administrator Guthrie, BOP Regional Director Caraway, and General Counsel Hyde have ignored his ...


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