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Smith v. Warden, USP-Allenwood

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 1, 2018

NATHANIEL SMITH, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN, USP-ALLENWOOD Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          RICHARD P. CONABOY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Background

         Nathaniel Smith, an inmate confined at the Allenwood United States Penitentiary, White Deer, Pennsylvania (USP-Allenwood), filed this pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Named as Respondent is the USP-Allenwood Warden. Service of the petition was previously ordered.

         Petitioner states that he was arrested in the State of Maryland on February 17, 2010. On February 26, 2010, Smith was sentenced to a five (5) year term of incarceration by a Maryland state court for possession of marijuana. The pending petition indicates that additional state charges against were nolle prossed in favor of federal prosecution.

         Petitioner asserts that after he began serving his state sentence on April 30, 2010, he was transferred to federal custody for brief periods of time during the subsequent months.

         On November 17, 2010, Petitioner entered a guilty plea to a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. On March 21, 2011, Smith was sentenced in federal court to an aggregate 89 month term of imprisonment with credit for time served commencing February 17, 2010.

         Smith's present action does not challenge the legality of either his state or federal convictions. Rather, Petitioner contends that the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) acted improperly by seeking the issuance of an amended federal sentence because it concluded that Petitioner was afforded an excessive amount of pretrial sentence credit. See Doc. 1-1, p. 1. Pursuant to that request, the District of Maryland issued an amended sentencing judgment which reduced the pretrial sentence credit Smith was originally awarded. As a result, Petitioner maintains that he is improperly being required to spend an additional 464 days in prison.

         Respondent counters that since the time spent by Petitioner in state custody was credited towards service of his state sentence, Smith is not entitled to double credit for that period of time.

         Discussion

         Title 28, United States Code § 2241, vests the federal district courts with jurisdiction to grant a writ of habeas corpus to persons in custody in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3). Habeas corpus review under § 2241 “allows a federal prisoner to challenge the ‘execution' of his sentence.” Woodall v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 241 (3d Cir. 2005). Review is available “where the deprivation of rights is such that it necessarily impacts the fact or length of detention.” Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002).

         Federal habeas relief is available only “where the deprivation of rights is such that it necessarily impacts the fact or length of detention.” Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 540 (3d Cir. 2002). Since Petitioner is alleging that the BOP failed to properly calculate his federal sentence, this matter is properly asserted under § 2241. It is also noted that there is no contention by Respondent that Petitioner has not exhausted his administrative remedies or that his action was untimely filed.

         According to undisputed exhibits provided by both Petitioner (Doc. 1-1) and the Respondent, on March 2, 2007, Petitioner was granted supervised release from service of a 36 month term imposed by the District of Maryland following his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Smith's supervised release was revoked three separate times over the next few years. On August 3, 2009, Smith was released from federal custody and placed on supervised release for a two year period.

         On February 17, 2010, Petitioner was arrested by state authorities in Montgomery County, Maryland on multiple charges including armed robbery, kidnaping, and assault. The charges were eventually nolle prossed in favor of federal prosecution.

         In an unrelated case, Petitioner was sentenced On February 26, 2010 by a Prince George's County, Maryland state court to a five (5) year term of imprisonment (all but three years suspended and with credit for 123 days) on a ...


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