Protass Law PLLC Client Granted “Compassionate Release” After Serving 30 Years of a Federal Life Without Parole Sentence
Robert Panton was arrested in 1991 and convicted in 1994 for his role in running a “spot” that sold heroin for a criminal organization run by notorious New York narcotics boss George “Boy George” Rivera. For his crimes, Panton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Because of the changes to the compassionate release program ushered in by the First Step Act, though, attorney Harlan Protass – after exhausting Panton’s BOP administrative remedies – filed a motion before the Honorable Loretta A. Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking “compassionate release” and a reduced sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) based on the “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances that Panton presented. And, on August 4, 2020 Judge Preska granted that motion, reducing Panton’s life sentence to time-served after close to 30 years behind bars. More particularly, Judge Preska found that the following grounds justified Panton’s release from prison:
“Over some three decades in high and medium security facilities, Mr. Panton has 1) maintained a good disciplinary record, 2) taken advantage of numerous courses and other opportunities to enable a law-abiding life, 2) evidenced a desire to help the outside community during which he demonstrated incredible empathy and compassion in an encounter with a child sex abuse victim, 4) maintained an exceptional degree of contact with his children, and, 5) unfortunately, developed several serious health issues. Because all of Mr. Panton’s co-conspirators, except George Rivera, the leader of the drug organization, have been released or have release dates, releasing Mr. Panton would avoid a sentencing disparity. Mr. Panton also has a viable post-release plan. The combination of these factors constitutes “extraordinary and compelling circumstances” warranting release.”
Read more about Robert Panton’s compassionate release here.
NYC criminal defense attorney Harlan Protass is a knowledgeable litigator who is not afraid to take on compassionate release cases such as this. If you or someone you love has questions about reducing a federal sentence, contact Protass Law today at 212.45.0335 or use our online contact form to reach out.
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