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Cesar Sayoc Serving 20 Years For Bombs to Ask for Compassionate Release Brief Due May 31

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope, Photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 1 – When Cesar Sayoc came to be sentenced by Judge Jed Rakoff in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on August 5, 2019 - before he got a 20 year term and a written decision -- he had a written speech about being sexual abused in a Catholic boarding school and now not believing what he wrote on social media as he sent the sixteen amateurish pipe bombs.

  Sayoc's Federal Defender Ian Marcus Amelkin began to argue how, in essence, Trump was to blame. Judge Rakoff cut this off, calling it a sideshow. He said the issue was what Sayoc did, and what he intended at the time.

  The defense's expert Harrison G. Pope said that the effects of steroid are gone within weeks. Judge Rakoff as one of a half dozen jokes said he'd read the study, to make sure he could get a good nights sleep. He also joked about not holding Harvard pedigree against the experts, and that law school is cruel and unusual punishment. Each brought loud laughter, some perhaps directed at impacting the sentence. In less high profile proceedings Judge Rakoff is equally jocular, and the laughter often more sincere.

 After a ten minute break Judge Rakoff returned and read a written decision. He ran through the standard of Section 3553(a) - a sentence no longer than necessary - and the Golden Rule. He concluded that Sayoc could have built a functioning bomb but chose not to. But that did not lead to the minimum, ten year sentence, but its double: 20 years (240 months), then four years of supervised release.

   In November 2021 Sayoc filed an 8 page plea for compassionate release, citing "props from my Chippendale male dance show" - but forgot a key point: "ORDER as to Cesar Altieri Sayoc (1): because Sayoc has not indicated that he has made such a request in writing with the Warden of his facility, the present motion is denied with out prejudice. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on 11/18/202).

On March 17, 2023, Judge Rakoff denied two more pro se motions: "ORDER as to Cesar Altieri Sayoc. On February 27, 2023, the Court received defendant Cesar Altieri Sayoc's prose letter motion, in which he appears to petition for two forms of relief. Having carefully considered the arguments made in the defendant's letter motion, the Court denies his motion."

On October 31, 2023, polite reiterated denial of the reiterated request: "ORDER as to Cesar Altieri Sayoc: Mr. Sayoc submitted a lengthy motion styled as a motion for reconsideration of the denial of his motion for compassionate release. Although the Court is grateful to Mr. Sayoc for his very full and interesting presentations, the Court does not find any material difference between the compassionate release motion that was previously denied and his current motion for reconsideration. The motion is accordingly denied. (Signed by Judge Jed S. Rakoff on 10/31/2023)."

On April 1, 2024, Judge Rakoff told his civil trial (SEC v. Terraform Labs and Do Kwon) that he had another matter in chambers. Then this: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Jed S. Rakoff: Telephone Conference without transcription or recording as to Cesar Altieri Sayoc held on 4/1/2024. Counsel for all parties was present. The following briefing schedule is set on defendant's motion for compassionate release: opening papers are due Friday, May 31, 2024; answering papers are due Monday, July 8, 2024; and reply papers are due Monday, July 22, 2024. (Brief due by 5/31/2024. Replies due by 7/22/2024. Responses due by 7/8/2024.)."

The case is US v. Sayoc, 18-cr-820 (Rakoff)



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