A sometimes overlooked mitigating factor can be extreme medical conditions that aren’t easily treated in a detention setting. Also, the defendant’s age and ability to pay restitution should be considered. For example, I point to an Ohio case where a 69-year-old man was convicted of securities fraud.

Joe Smith (a pseudonym) was convicted on ten counts of securities fraud. He was 69 at the time of conviction, had proactively paid back half of the estimated amount of restitution, and was capable of working to continue paying restitution. While his sentence was estimated at 51 to 75 months, the judge considered his age, ability to provide restitution to his victims, ability to pay the court’s fines, and medical conditions. Mr. Smith had prostate cancer, diabetes, and congestive heart failure, and any of these conditions would have been challenging to treat in a prison facility.

Smith’s attorneys argued that due to his lack of criminal record, age, ability to pay, and medical conditions warranted an alternative sentence. The drain on detention funds and the demands of treating Smith’s conditions did not make sense. The judge, in this case, opined that Mr. Smith would be more valuable to the government and his victims on house arrest rather than in a facility. Mr. Smith successfully completed his sentence on house arrest, provided his victim’s full restitution, and paid his court fees in full while attending his medical appointments. All in all, a much better outcome for everyone involved was achieved.

Do you have a defendant with a serious health condition? Conditions like diabetes requiring an insulin pump, cancer, COPD, congestive heart failure, a pacemaker, paralysis, emphysema, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney failure, other renal diseases, stroke, asthma, and even long COVID can be the basis for a sentencing variance.

If you have a client with extreme medical conditions, mitigation can help obtain a lesser sentence for your client. Please call the Downward Departure Specialists at 916-224-4680. We are experts and here to help.