The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Paradise Baxter United States Magistrate Judge
District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin
Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
It is respectfully recommended that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by Petitioner, Caswell A. Crawford, be denied.
Petitioner is a federal inmate who is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution, McKean. He contends that the Bureau of Prisons (the "Bureau" or the "BOP"), which is the agency responsible for implementing and applying federal law concerning the computation of federal sentences, see, e.g., United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 331 (1992), erred in computing his federal sentence.
On November 12, 1991, Petitioner was arrested by local law enforcement officers in Belle Glade, Florida, and charged with First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery at the Palm Beach County Circuit Court's Criminal Docket No. 91-13993CF. After his arrest, he was held in the custody of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's department without bond. [ECF No. 10-3 at 4-5, Resp's Ex. 2, Declaration of Kara Carr at ¶ 6(a). See also ECF No. 10-3 at 14, Resp's Ex. 2a].
On June 24, 1992, the Grand Jury for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida returned a single count indictment against Petitioner, charging that from January 1, 1989, through January 1, 1992, he conspired to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The following day, on June 25, 1992, a federal arrest warrant was issued. Less than a month later, on or around July 22, 1992, Petitioner, while in state/local custody, was arrested by federal authorities and charged with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. [ECF No. 10-3 at 5, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶¶ 6(b)-(d)].
On March 17, 1993, Petitioner pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, at Criminal Docket No. 91-13993CF, to Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, Second Degree Murder, and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle. [ECF No. 10-3 at 5, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶ 6(e)].
About one month later, on April 16, 1993, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida issued a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum so that Petitioner could appear in federal court to answer his federal charges. At the time, Petitioner was in a local jail and had not yet been sentenced on his state convictions. The U.S. Marshals Service ("USMS") took temporary custody of him pursuant to the writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. [ECF No. 10-3 at 5, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶ 6(f); ECF No. 10-3 at 17, Resp's Ex. 2b; ECF No. 10-3 at 22, Resp's Ex. 2c].
As will be discussed below, because state/local authorities had arrested Petitioner first, he was in the "primary custody" of the State of Florida. The "primary custody" doctrine developed to provide different sovereigns (in this case the state and the federal governments) with an orderly method by which to prosecute and incarcerate an individual who has violated each sovereign's laws. See Ponzi v. Fessenden, 258 U.S. 254 (1922). See, e.g., Bowman v. Wilson, 672 F.2d 1145, 1153-54 (3d Cir. 1982);
George v. Longley, No. 11-2406, 2012 WL 541535, *1-2 (3d Cir. Feb. 21, 2012). In relevant part, the doctrine provides that the sovereign that first arrests an individual has primary custody over him. That sovereign's claim over the individual has priority over all other sovereigns that subsequently arrest him. The sovereign with primary custody is entitled to have the individual serve a sentence it imposes before he serves a sentence imposed by any other jurisdiction, regardless of the chronological order of sentence imposition. See, e.g., Bowman, 672 F.2d at 1153-54. Primary custody remains vested in the sovereign that first arrests the individual until it relinquishes its priority by, e.g., granting bail, dismissal of charges, or parole release. George, No. 11-2406, 2012 WL 541535, at *1 n.4. Custody also can expire at the end of a sentence. Id.
A prisoner detained pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum is considered to remain in the primary custody of the first jurisdiction unless and until the first sovereign relinquishes jurisdiction over the person. See, e.g., Ruggiano v. Reish, 307 F.3d 121, 125 n.1 (3d Cir. 2002). The receiving sovereign -- in this case, the federal government -- is, therefore, considered simply to be "borrowing" the prisoner from the sending sovereign for the purposes of indicting, arraigning, trying, and sentencing him. Id.
On July 2, 1993, Petitioner pleaded guilty to the federal charge and, on October 20, 1993, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida sentenced him to a term of imprisonment of 420 months. The Judgment and Commitment order reflected that his offense conduct concluded on January 1, 1992. When the federal district court judge imposed Petitioner's sentence, he was silent as to whether he intended the federal sentence to run concurrently with any other sentence to which Petitioner was subject. [ECF No. 10-3 at 5, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶ 6(h); ECF No. 10-4 at 2-4, Resp's Ex. 2e].
The federal sentencing order was lodged as a detainer with the Palm Beach County Jail. [ECF No. 10-3 at 5, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶ 6(i); ECF No. 10-3 at 22, Resp's Ex. 2c]. On or around November 2, 1993, the USMS returned Petitioner to the Palm Beach County Jail in satisfaction of the federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. [ECF No. 10-3 at 4, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶ 6(j)].
On November 5, 1993, the Palm Beach County Circuit Court, in Criminal Case Number 91-13993CF, sentenced Petitioner to a total aggregate term of 25 year' imprisonment for his convictions of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, Second Degree Murder, and Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle. The state court judge ordered that the sentence run concurrently with the federal sentence that had been imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. He also ordered that Petitioner receive 724 days credit against his state sentence, which appears to be for the 724 days Petitioner served in primary state custody from November 12, 1991 (the date of his arrest) through November 4, 1993 (the day before his state sentence was imposed). [ECF No. 10-3 at 6, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶ 6(k)].
Petitioner remained in state custody to serve his state sentence. He also faced more state criminal charges. On March 29, 1995, he was sentenced in state court in Leon County, Florida to a 146-month term of imprisonment for Trafficking in Cocaine in Criminal Case No. 95-00346. Nearly a year later, on February 26, 1996, he was sentenced in state court in Hendry County, Florida, to a term of imprisonment of five years for Escape in Criminal Case No. 95-00188. [ECF No. 10-3 at 6, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶¶ 6(l)-(m)].
Petitioner satisfied his state sentences on December 25, 2009. The state released him to the custody of the USMS in accordance with his federal detainer on January 19, 2010. [ECF No. 10-3 at 6, Resp's Ex. 2, Carr Decl. at ¶¶ 6(n)-(o)]. The BOP commenced his federal sentence on that date pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a). It also determined that Petitioner was entitled to 24 days of presentence-commencement credit (commonly known as "prior custody credit") under 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b). That credit is for the time served from December 26, 2009 (the day after he was released from his state sentence) through January 18, 2010 (the date before his federal sentence commenced).
The BOP has calculated Petitioner's federal sentence as consecutive to
his state sentence. This means that it has refused to give him a
retroactive concurrent designation under 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)
(discussed below), which would have allowed the state prison to be the
place where he began service of his federal sentence.*fn1
Assuming that Petitioner receives all good conduct time
available to him under 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), his current projected
release date is June 23, 2040. [ECF No. 10-3 at 8-12, Resp's Ex. 2,
Carr Decl. at ¶¶ 7-17; ECF No. 10-4 at 17, Resp's Ex. 2j].
The evidence of record demonstrates that the State of Florida credited against Petitioner's state sentences all of the time that he spent in official detention between the date his federal offense conduct was deemed to have concluded (January 1, 1992) through December 25, 2009, including all of the time that he was in the temporary custody of federal authorities pursuant to the ...