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Edwards v. U.S.

filed: December 6, 1994.

RODERICK EDWARDS, APPELLANT
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (D.C. Civil No. 93-00199J).

Before: Scirica, Nygaard And McKEE, Circuit Judges

Author: Nygaard

Opinion OF THE COURT

NYGAARD, Circuit Judge

Roderick Edwards appeals the district court's order denying his petition for habeas corpus relief. Edwards contends that the Bureau of Prisons improperly denied him sentence credit for the time he spent in home confinement on bond pending appeal. The district court denied his petition. The sole issue on appeal is whether his home confinement rises to the penal valence of "official detention" within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b), thus entitling him to credit against his sentence. We conclude that it does not and will affirm.

I.

Edwards pleaded guilty to distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base. The court then placed Edwards on pre-trial home detention pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3142(c) to ensure his appearance at trial and to protect the public. For a period of nine to ten months, Edwards was confined to his uncle's home under electronic monitoring and could not leave without permission of Pretrial Services. He was granted a number of "black out periods" to leave his uncle's apartment and attend church, church choir practice, attorney and court appointments.

Edwards was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by five years supervised release. At sentencing, Edwards requested sentence credit for the nine to ten months he spent in home confinement, which the district court denied.

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed and held that sentencing courts have the authority to determine whether a form of confinement amounts to "official detention" and whether sentence credit should be granted under § 3585(b). United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278 (2d Cir. 1992). Shortly thereafter, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Wilson, 117 L. Ed. 2d 593, 112 S. Ct. 1351 (1992), held that § 3585(b) does not authorize a district court to award credit at sentencing and that the Attorney General, through the Bureau of Prisons, is to make the sentence credit determination for a defendant. 112 S. Ct. at 1354-1355. In light of Wilson, Edwards filed a petition with the Bureau of Prisons, again raising the issue. The Bureau denied Edwards' petition for "prior custody credit." Having exhausted his administrative remedies, Edwards, now incarcerated at a federal corrections facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania, filed a petition for habeas corpus relief, raising the same denial of sentence credit issue.

The district court referred the case to a magistrate Judge, who recommended that the district court find the restrictions on Edwards' freedom were not equal to official detention. The district court rejected Edwards' objections, and adopted the magistrate Judge's report and recommendation, except a portion of the report recommending that "residential confinement ... never [be considered] legally onerous enough to constitute official detention." Specifically, the district court's order stated that Edwards had "not been restrained to so significant a degree that it would constitute 'official detention' under the statute."

Edwards again argues that the time he spent in home confinement constitutes "official detention" as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b), which provides in pertinent part:

Credit for prior custody - A defendant shall be given credit

toward the service of a term of imprisonment for any time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences (1) as a result of the offense for which the sentence was imposed. . .

The government does not dispute Edwards concerning the conditions of his home detention, but argues that the decision of the Bureau of Prisons, which found that Edwards' court-ordered, pre-trial residential segregation did not amount to "official detention," was ...


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