Ninth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Order Denying Compassionate Release
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A federal prisoner who last year attempted unsuccessfully to run for the U.S. Senate and who has been declared a vexatious litigant—suing, among others, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—yesterday lost his bid in the Ninth Circuit for a compassionate release.
In a memorandum opinion, a three-judge panel rejected the contention by Danny Fabricant, a former Hell’s Angel who is serving a life-sentence on drug-sale convictions, that District Court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew of the Central District of California abused his discretion in determining that the statutory requisites for such a release are not met.
The panel—comprised of Circuit Judges Gabriel P. Sanchez and Jennifer Sung, along with Senior Judge Barry G. Silverman—said:
“[W]e cannot conclude that the district court abused its discretion in finding that Fabricant’s aggravating circumstances, including his very lengthy—if nonviolent—criminal history, outweighed the mitigating factors cited by Fabricant. Moreover, although the court did not address each of Fabricant’s arguments, it adequately explained its decision to deny relief…. “In view of this conclusion, we do not reach Fabricant’s arguments regarding the district court’s extraordinary and compelling analysis.”
The Ninth Circuit in 2017 affirmed Lew’s order declaring Fabricant a vexatious litigant, saying:
“[T]he district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the order because it gave Fabricant notice and an opportunity to be heard, developed an adequate record for review, made substantive findings regarding Fabricant’s frivolous litigation history, and tailored the restriction narrowly.”
The government’s brief in support of the order recites:
“Since his initial appearance on December 4, 2003…, defendant has generated a lengthy and extensive history of pro se filings. That history has included approximately 106 ex parte applications and other requests; 73 motions, notices, and letters; 11 oppositions, responses, and objections; 16 replies; and seven sentencing pleadings….Furthermore, following the district court’s denial of many of these and other requests, defendant has filed at least 29 notices of appeal.”
Last year, Fabricant sought to run in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat but was found ineligible.
His campaign website says:
“I’m running for the Senate seat previously held by Kamala Harris, in the 2022 Primary and (hopefully) General Elections. My campaign is NOT accepting donations of any sort. The campaign is being run solely via social media and word of mouth. On all my sites, I explain to whoever is reading about me that I think the $15+ Billion spent in the last election cycle could have gone to much better uses, like making donations to No Kill Animal Rescue shelters.”
A campaign tweet says: “A picture of Danny (71), who is currently an involuntary guest of the Lompoc, CA Federal Penitentiary, is below. Danny expects to be released sometime this year, shortly after Congress and President Biden enact the pending Bill that will retroactively eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for recreational substance offences.”
The photo appears at the top of this article.
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