Valcarce, Waughn Secure Immediate Release for Pro Bono Client
Bianca Valcarce and Casey Waughn, lawyers in Armstrong Teasdale’s Philadelphia and St. Louis offices, respectively, recently achieved a favorable outcome for a pro bono client as part of the Second Look Project.
The Second Look Project provides direct representation to individuals sentenced to extreme prison terms as youths and aims to obtain immediate release for these individuals under D.C.’s Compassionate Release laws and the Incarceration Reduction Act (IRAA). These laws allow individuals sentenced to lengthy prison sentences for crimes they committed before age 25 to petition the sentencing court to reduce their sentence upon proving that they are qualified for resentencing and should be resentenced based on the eleven factors of the IRAA.
Valcarce and Waughn represented a client who was incarcerated for more than 31 years, since he was 19 years old, and who was serving a sentence of 45 years to life. They prepared and submitted a written petition to the court under Washington D.C.’s IRAA and Second Look Act, offering evidence and arguments as to why the statute’s 11 factors counseled in favor of a sentence reduction. After the petition was fully briefed, Waughn and Valcarce appeared remotely on behalf of the client for an evidentiary hearing, where they presented testimony from three witnesses, including their client. After hearing the evidence and considering the written submission, the judge immediately granted their client’s motion and resentenced him, giving credit for time served and resulting in his immediate release. Without this motion, the client would not have been eligible for parole for another 10-15 years, with the possibility that he would have served the rest of his life in prison.
Providing pro bono legal services for those who cannot afford them has been a priority of Armstrong Teasdale from the firm’s beginning. The firm is one of the founding members of the Washington D.C.-based Pro Bono Institute and has created several programs that demonstrate our long-term commitment to helping those in need.
Valcarce counsels clients on a variety of civil, criminal and regulatory matters with a focus on government investigations and white-collar criminal defense; environmental liability and enforcement; complex commercial litigation; and internal investigations and regulatory compliance. She has experience representing large corporations, senior-level executives, individual business owners, government contractors and health care providers across the pharmaceutical, medical device, health care, manufacturing, construction, transportation and financial services industries.
Waughn helps clients navigate and comply with complex regulatory regimes, particularly in the data privacy, cybersecurity and white-collar spaces. She assists individuals, corporate executives, and organizations of all sizes with responding to risk and developing compliance strategies that fit their needs. She regularly represents clients facing criminal prosecution, civil regulatory inquiries and civil complaints in state and federal courts throughout the country, and has assisted clients in responding to regulatory inquiries and requests from state attorneys general, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice.