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King v. Lindsay

July 11, 2007

ANDREW M. KING, PETITIONER,
v.
CAMERON LINDSAY, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Rambo

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the court is a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, filed by Petitioner Andrew M. King ("King"), an inmate currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan in Waymart, Pennsylvania. King is challenging the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") calculation of his federal sentence. For the reasons set forth below, the petition will be denied.

I. Statement of Facts

On January 3, 1997, King was arrested and imprisoned by New York state authorities for possession of narcotics, resisting arrest, and violation of parole. (Doc. 8-2 at 8.) The possession and resisting arrest charges were later dismissed; however, New York continued to detain him on the parole violation charges. (Id.) Consequently, on May 19, 1997, New York local authorities issued a parole violator warrant for King. (Id. at 4.) From January 3, 1997, through August 26, 1997, King remained in the primary custody of New York authorities.

On August 27, 1997, King was produced from New York state custody pursuant to a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum to answer to charges of murder in the aid of racketeering, see 18 U.S.C. § 1952(b), conspiracy to distribute and possess cocaine with intent to distribute, see 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(b)(1)(A), and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, see 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) & 841(b)(1)(A), in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. (Id.) After pleading guilty to all charges, King was sentenced on October 4, 1999, to a term of imprisonment of 144 months, to run concurrent to a state sentence. (Doc. 8-2 at 25.)

On November 8, 1999, King was returned to the custody of the State of New York. (Id. at 4.) However, during the period of time, August 27, 1997, through November 8, 1999, New York authorities still maintained primary custody over King, with federal officials assuming secondary custody.

On July 11, 2000, New York authorities revoked King's parole and sentenced him to a term of imprisonment of not less than seven (7) years and not more than twenty-one (21) years. (Id.) At that time King received credit toward his state sentence from May 19, 1997 (the date the parole violator warrant was issued), through July 10, 2000 (the day prior to revocation of his parole). (Doc. 8-2 at 8.) King was paroled from his state sentence on March 24, 2006, at which time federal authorities assumed primary custody. (Doc. 8-2 at 4.)

After it assumed federal custody of King, the BOP calculated his federal sentence. King filed the instant petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2241 on February 27, 2007 (Doc. 1), challenging that calculation. On March 6, 2007, an order to show cause was issued, directing the respondent to reply to King's petition. (Doc. 6.) The matter is now ripe for disposition.

II. Discussion

A petition for writ of habeas corpus under § 2241 is the proper vehicle for relief "where petitioner challenges the effect of events 'subsequent' to his sentence," Gomori v. Arnold, 533 F.2d 871, 874 (3d Cir. 1976), and where he challenges the execution of his sentence rather than its validity, see United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185-88 (1979); Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001). Thus, King has properly invoked section 2241 to challenge the determination of sentencing credit by the BOP and has done so in the proper district, where he is imprisoned. Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 478-79 (3d Cir. 1990).

The Attorney General is responsible for computing federal sentences for all offenses committed after November 1, 1987, 18 U.S.C. § 3585; United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 331-32 (1992), and the Attorney General has delegated this authority to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, 28 C.F.R. § 0.96 (1992). Computation of a federal sentence is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585, and consists of the following two-step process: (1) a determination of the date on which the federal sentence commences, and (2) consideration of any credit to which petitioner may be entitled. Chambers v. Holland, 920 F. Supp. 618, 621 (M.D. Pa. 1996).

A federal sentence commences "on the date the defendant is received in custody awaiting transportation to, or arrives voluntarily to commence service of sentence at, the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served." 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a). A federal sentence does not begin to run when a defendant is taken into federal custody from state custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Ruggiano v. Reish, 307 F.3d 121, 126 (3d Cir. 2002); Chambers, 920 F. Supp. at 622. This is because the state, not the federal government, remains the primary custodian in those circumstances. Further, the jurisdiction that first arrests an offender has primary jurisdiction over the offender until that sovereign relinquishes it to another jurisdiction by, for example, bail release, dismissal of the state charges, parole release or the expiration of the state sentence. See Taylor v. Reno, 164 F.3d 440, 444 (9th Cir. 1998); Chambers, 920 F. Supp. at 622.

A determination of whether credit is warranted for time spent in custody prior to the commencement of a federal sentence is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b). This section provides the following:

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 ...


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