October News

 Case News, Staff News, Extern Update

 

Case News:

 

On October 1, 2019, the Court granted compassionate release for our 73-year-old client who had served 30 years of a 40 year sentence, a sentence driven largely by mandatory minimums for bank robbery and related offenses that he committed to support a pain pill addiction. Two years ago, the client had the support of the Court and his unit manager for a Presidential Pardon. When that did not come to pass, he had the gumption and wherewithal to file a pro se petition for relief under the First Step Act when the Warden failed to act within 30 days of his request for relief. The government agreed it appeared that he qualified for relief because of his age, debilitating health and the fact that he had served more than 75% of the original sentence imposed. Seattle AFD Jennifer Wellman agreed he absolutely qualified for relief as did the Court. The Court concluded that he was not a danger to the community if released, noting not only the family support awaiting his return home, but also his minimal disciplinary issues while maintaining an exemplary work history for the past 30 years, and his conscious and successful intentions to avoid drugs while incarcerated, including prescribed medications following surgery.

Following his release, he was greeted by his sister, brother and cousin, as well as his probation officer before the reunited family drove home, stopping at a large reservoir and hot springs for a dip, having grown up swimming but not having had that opportunity in over 30 years, and noting the awe and joy of seeing most things through his eyes now.

Congratulations to our client and his family.

 

Staff News:

 

FPD Tacoma Hires AFD Heather Carroll

Heather Carroll joined the Tacoma Office of the FPD in October. Heather began her career at FPD as an intern in 2004, and has been involved in public defense ever since. Heather was a PD in Snohomish County for 6 years, in private practice in Clark County taking appointed cases, was then elevated to be their Indigent Defense Coordinator. She has deep roots in the Washington State defender community, is a highly regarded advocate for public defenders and public defense issues and has been chosen to be the President Elect for the Washington Defender Association. FPD and our clients are fortunate to have her join us.

 

Legal Extern Update:

2019 Summer Externship Update:

 

Shiyun Chen, UW 2L will be interning at The Legal Aid Society,  Manhattan Criminal Trial Division
Willa Osborn, UW 2L will be interning at the King County Department of Public Defense in Seattle
Claire Postman, Columbia 2L will be interning at the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office
Aileen Tan, Columbia 2L will be interning at Katten Muchin Rosenman in Manhattan in the bankruptcy practice group
Mallorie Urban, Stanford 2L will be interning at Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to all of our fabulous former interns!