The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Kosik
Petitioner Willie J. Henry files this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. He is currently confined at the United States Penitentiary at Canaan ("USP-Canaan"), Waymart, Pennsylvania. Named as Respondent is Ronnie Holt, Warden at USP-Canaan.
Henry is currently serving a 180-month term of confinement for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Crack Cocaine imposed by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. He challenges the calculation of his federal sentence by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). Specifically, he contends that his federal sentence should be credited with time he spent in state custody. He also contends that the federal sentencing judge misapplied the sentencing guidelines.*fn1 On August 15, 2007, Respondent was directed to answer the allegations in the petition within twenty (20) days. (Doc. 6.) A response was submitted on September 11, 2007.*fn2
(Doc. 14.) A traverse was filed on September 28, 2007. (Doc. 15.) The matter is ripe for consideration.
Petitioner was sentenced in the Circuit Court for Richmond, Virginia on May 9, 1989 to a six (6) year state term of imprisonment to be followed by a six (6) year term of probation for Possession with Intent to Distribute. (Doc. 14, Ex. 1.) He was paroled from this sentence on April 18, 1990. (Id.) While on state probation supervision during the time period from the spring of 1992 until on or about December of 1992, Petitioner committed the federal offense of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Crack Cocaine. (Id.)
Petitioner was arrested by Virginia state authorities in Halifax County, Virginia on August 1, 1993, on state charges of Impeded a Police Officer, Assaulted a Police Officer and Escape from Custody. (Id., Ex. 1, ¶¶ 7-8, Attachs. 1,2.) He was sentenced on September 3, 1993, in the General District Court for Halifax County, Virginia, to a six (6) month state jail term on the charges of Impeded a Police Officer and Assaulted a Police Officer. (Id., Attach. 1, ¶ 22.) On October 22, 1993, Petitioner was sentenced to a six (6) year state term of imprisonment in the Circuit Court for Richmond, Virginia for the violation of his probation. (Id., Ex. 1, ¶ 9, Attach. 1, ¶ 22.) The Circuit Court for Halifax County Virginia sentenced Petitioner on February 2, 1994 to a one (1) year state term of confinement for the charge of Felonious Escape. (Id., Ex. 1, ¶ 11, Attach. 1, ¶ 22.)
On August 26, 1994, Petitioner was temporarily transferred to federal custody pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendam. (Id., Ex. 1, ¶ 12, Attach. 3.) On August 31, 1994, he was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia to a 180 month term of confinement on the federal charge of Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and to Distribute Crack Cocaine. (Id., Ex. 1, ¶ 13, Attach. 4.)*fn3 Petitioner was returned to state custody on September 16, 1994. (Id., ¶ 14, Attach. 3.)
The Virginia Department of Corrections computed Petitioner's state sentence(s) as commencing on June 24, 1994, with credit in the amount of 327 days for the time Petitioner spent in custody from August 1, 1993 (date arrested on the state charges), to June 23, 1994.*fn4 (Id., ¶ 15, Attachs. 5-6.) Petitioner was paroled from his state sentence(s) on December 10, 1997, at which time the federal authorities assumed custody. Petitioner filed this habeas corpus petition on July 17, 2007, challenging the BOP's calculation of his federal sentence. He specifically contends that he should have received credit toward his federal sentence for the three (3) year and three (3) month period he spent in state custody. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.
It is well established that a pro se pleading is held to less stringent standards than more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). A pro se habeas petition and any supporting submissions must be construed liberally and with a measure of tolerance. See Royce v. Hahn, 151 F.3d 116, 188 (3d Cir. 1998); Lewis v. Attorney General, 878 F.2d 714, 721-22 (3d Cir. 1989). Because Henry is proceeding pro se, the court will accord his petition the liberal construction intended for pro se litigants.
A. Computation of Federal Sentence
The Attorney General has delegated to the Bureau of Prisons the authority to compute federal sentences for offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987. See 18 U.S.C. § 3585; 28 C.F.R. § 0.96 (1992); United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 334-35 (1992); United States v. Brann, 990 F.2d 98, 103-04 (3d Cir. 1993). Computation of a federal sentence is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585, and is comprised of two factors: (1) the date on which the federal sentence commences, and (2) the extent to which credit may be awarded for time spent in custody prior to the commencement of the sentence. A federal sentence cannot commence prior to the date it is ...