Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Ohio at Akron.
No. 5:16-cr-00112-3—Dan A. Polster, District Judge.
Argued: November 19, 2020
Decided and Filed: January 6, 2021
Before: McKEAGUE, THAPAR, and LARSEN, Circuit Judges.
McKEAGUE, Circuit Judge. The passage of the First Step Act in 2018 expanded access
to compassionate release by allowing inmates to bring compassionate-release motions on their
own behalf. Prior to that Act, only the Bureau of Prisons could bring compassionate-release
motions. However, the removal of the Bureau of Prisons as the sole gatekeeper to
compassionate release raised questions of whether the Sentencing Commission’s policy
statement, U.S.S.G. § 1B1.13, remained applicable to inmate-filed motions. This Court spoke on
those questions recently, stating that § 1B1.13 is not applicable to inmate-filed compassionaterelease motions. United States v. Jones, 980 F.3d 1098 (6th Cir. 2020). We follow that
In 2016, Lisa Elias was convicted of a drug-related conspiracy. This year, she utilized
the expanded compassionate release process by moving for compassionate release on her own
behalf, arguing that her hypertension placed her at an elevated risk of death if she were to
contract COVID-19. The district court denied her motion, finding that Elias failed to show
“extraordinary and compelling reasons” for a sentence reduction as the statute requires.
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Elias claims that the district court abused its discretion in denying
her motion. We find her arguments to be without merit and AFFIRM.