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Wilson v. Baltazar

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

October 9, 2019

JAMES JOSEPH WILSON, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN BALTAZAR, Respondent

          MUNLEY, D.J.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          WILLIAM I. ARBUCKLE, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         James Joseph Wilson (“Petitioner”), a federal prisoner at United States Penitentiary, Canaan (“USP Canaan”), filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, challenging the calculation of his sentence. For the reasons below, I RECOMMEND that his Petition be DENIED.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On November 1, 2003, Petitioner was arrested on Utah state charges of aggravated assault. (Doc. 9). On November 24, 2003, Petitioner was temporarily taken into federal custody on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. (Doc. 1, p. 2).

         On January 13, 2005, Petitioner was sentenced in federal court to a term of 188 months in prison. Id. This federal sentence was ordered to run concurrent to Petitioner's state sentence for a parole violation. Id. Thus, Petitioner's federal sentence began to run on January 13, 2005.

         On February 3, 2005, the State of Utah sentenced Petitioner to a term of imprisonment of one (1) to fifteen (15) years imprisonment for aggravated burglary. (Doc. 6, p. 3). On July 19, 2005, Petitioner's state sentence was terminated, and he entered federal custody to exclusively serve the remainder of his federal sentence. (Doc. 6, p. 3).

         On October 27, 2017, Petitioner filed his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Doc. 1). Petitioner argues that the BOP miscalculated his federal sentence by failing to credit the time he spent in state custody. Petitioner's sole request for relief is that “this court issues him a Writ of Habeas Corpus for a nunc pro tunc Designation of his Federal Sentence from October 30, 2003 to January 13, 2005. (Doc. 1, p. 10).

         On February 13, 2018, Respondent filed his Response (Doc. 6). On March 8, 2018, Petitioner filed his Traverse (Doc. 8). Thus, Petitioner's Habeas Petition is ripe for our disposition.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Petitioner is seeking credit on his federal sentence for the period from November 1, 2003 to January 12, 2005. During that time, Petitioner was on parole, had his parole revoked, and began serving a state sentence for aggravated assault. The factual history of this case is best viewed as three separate time periods. Time Period 1 is November 1, 2003 to November 23, 2003 - after Petitioner was arrested for the state charge of aggravated assault but before Petitioner was taken into federal custody on a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Time Period 2 is November 24, 2003 - January 12, 2005 - the period of time Petitioner was technically in federal custody on a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum to the date Petitioner was sentenced in federal court for armed credit union robbery. Time Period 3 is the time after January 13, 2005 - the time period after Petitioner received his federal sentence.

         28 U.S.C. § 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).

         The Attorney General has delegated authority to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) to compute federal sentences for offenses. See 18 U.S.C. § 3585; United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 331-32 (1992). The computation of a federal sentence is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3585. This computation 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. See 18 U.S.C. § 3585. Section 3585(a) provides that a federal prison sentence “commences on the date ...


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