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United States v. Matthews

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

August 30, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DANIEL KEITH MATTHEWS

          OPINION

          Joy Flowers Conti Chief United States District Judge

         I. Introduction and Background

         Pending before the court is a motion to terminate supervised release filed by pro se defendant Daniel Keith Matthews[1] (“defendant”). On February 23, 2006, a jury found defendant guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin (count 1) and possession with intent to distribute a quantity of heroin (count 16). On January 17, 2007, defendant was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 120 months at each of counts 1 and 16, to be concurrently served, and a term of supervised release of eight years at count 1, and six years at count 18, to be concurrently served. (ECF No. 878.) Defendant's terms of supervised release were subject to numerous conditions. (Id. at 4-5.)

         On May 6, 2014, defendant was moved by the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) from Federal Prison Camp McKean (“McKean”) to a halfway house. Defendant while at the halfway house was in the custody of the BOP. On October 31, 2014, defendant was released from the halfway house and BOP custody and began serving his terms of supervised release under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania (the “probation office”).

         On May 28, 2015, defendant filed a motion to terminate supervised release. (ECF No. 1175.) On June 17, 2015, the government filed a response in opposition to that motion. (ECF No. 1181.) The court denied defendant's motion because he was not entitled to seek early termination of a term of supervised release until he served at least one year of the term of supervision. 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1). The court also explained that defendant did not present to the court information sufficient from which this court could grant his request.

         On April 18, 2017, defendant filed a second motion to terminate supervised release. (ECF No. 1211.) On May 9, 2017, the government filed a response in opposition. (ECF No. 1241.) Defendant's second motion to terminate supervised release is now ripe to be decided by the court.

         II. Legal Standard for a Motion for Early Termination of Supervised Release

         A district court may, after considering the applicable factors[2] in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a),

terminate a term of supervised release and discharge the defendant released at any time after the expiration of one year of supervised release, pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to the modification of probation, if it is satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct of the defendant released and the interest of justice.

18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1). “Generally…early termination of supervised release under section 3583(e) should occur only when the sentencing judge is satisfied that something exceptional or extraordinary[3] warrants it.” United States v. Laine, 404 F. App'x 571, 573-74 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing United States v. Lussier, 104 F.3d 32, 36 (2d Cir. 1997)). “Simple compliance with the conditions of supervised release [is] expected and not exceptional.” Laine, 404 F. App'x at 574; see United States v. Dudash, Crim. Action No. 05-101, 2012 WL 874878, at *3 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 14, 2012) (“Defendant's full compliance with all of the conditions of supervised release does not warrant early termination.”). In other words, the § 3553(a) factors and the interest of justice do not support early termination unless there is a reason other than compliance with the conditions of supervision. See United States v. Medina, 17 F.Supp.2d 245, 247 (S.D.N.Y. 1998) (“While [the defendant's] post-incarceration conduct is apparently unblemished, this alone cannot be sufficient reason to terminate the supervised release since, if it were, the exception would swallow the rule.” (emphasis added)).

         III. Discussion

         A. Defendant Served At Least One Year of Supervised Release

         Defendant began serving his term of supervised release on October 31, 2014. Defendant filed the second motion to terminate supervised release on May 9, 2017. The court may, therefore, consider defendant's motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1).

         B. Applicable 18 U.S.C. ...


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