Hogan Lovells in conjunction with the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Defender's Office secures release of veteran after 25 years of incarceration

Boston, 16 June 2020 – Global law firm Hogan Lovells, with help from the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Defender’s Office, secured the release of a U.S. Army veteran incarcerated for 25 years.

A Hogan Lovells team worked for more than two years—filing a clemency petition, exhausting administrative remedies, and preparing a motion for compassionate release—to obtain freedom for Kenneth Kubinski, a decorated U.S. Army infantry veteran who fought with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam, earning three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and an Army Commendation Medal. In 1994, he was sentenced to multiple life sentences after he was convicted of first-time, non-violent drug trafficking offenses.

Kubinski was an exemplary inmate with no disciplinary actions throughout his decades-long incarceration. His efforts to obtain a release were supported by numerous prison personnel, correctional officers, and family members who wrote letters in his support.

In the fall of 2019, Hogan Lovells attorneys prepared Kubinski’s motion for compassionate release, brought pursuant to the First Step Act, which was finalized and filed by the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Defender’s Office. On May 13, 2020, the motion was granted on the basis of Kubinski’s failing health, chronic pain, age, and time served. Judge Malcolm Howard of the Eastern District of North Carolina held that Kubinski had been “a model prisoner,” had already served a sentence that reflected “just punishment,” had met his burden for compassionate release, and ordered Kubinski released forthwith.

The Boston-based team was composed of Courtney Caruso (senior associate) and Diana Van Leeuwen (associate), with leadership from Tony Fuller (partner) and assistance from Safa Osmani (associate).


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