A ruling raising the bar for federal prisoners who seek sentence reductions based on the COVID-19 pandemic is not expected to deter an interest in compassionate release.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said in a precedential ruling Thursday that Francis Raia is not entitled to modification of his three-month prison sentence because he failed to exhaust administrative remedies before seeking compassionate relief. But defense lawyers think the ruling still leaves room for others to successfully seek sentence modifications.

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