480 U.S. 522 (1987), 86-5504, Rodriguez v. United States
|Docket Nº:||No. 86-5504.|
|Citation:||480 U.S. 522, 107 S.Ct. 1391, 94 L.Ed.2d 533|
|Party Name:||Rodriguez v. United States|
|Case Date:||March 23, 1987|
|Court:||United States Supreme Court|
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED
STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
While released on a personal recognizance bond following her arrest for selling cocaine, petitioner was arrested again for selling heroin. She pleaded guilty to both charges. Although recognizing that 18 U.S.C. § 3147 (1982 ed., Supp. III) required that petitioner, as a person who committed a felony while on release pending judicial proceedings, had to be sentenced to at least a 2-year term of imprisonment in addition to the sentences for the two drug offenses, the sentencing judge, relying on 18 U.S.C. § 3651, suspended execution of the § 3147 sentence and instead imposed a 2-year probation term as more appropriate under the circumstances. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that § 3147 "supersede[d]" § 3651, leaving federal judges without authority to suspend execution of sentences imposed under § 3147.
Held: Section 3147 does not divest sentencing judges of their § 3651 authority. Nothing in the language of the two provisions suggests the existence of an "irreconcilable conflict" from which an intent to work an implicit partial repeal of § 3651 may be inferred; to the contrary, the provisions fit together quite sensibly. Moreover, the totality of the legislative history of the Act of which § 3147 is a part demonstrates with unusual clarity that no repeal was intended. The Court of Appeals impermissibly relied on its understanding of the broad purposes of that Act, since § 3147 is sufficiently clear in its context, and not at odds with the legislative history.
Certiorari granted; 794 F.2d 24, reversed.
Per curiam opinion.
In the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (CCCA), Pub.L. 98-473, 98 Stat. 1976, Congress provided that anyone who commits a felony while on release pending judicial proceedings must be sentenced to at least two years' imprisonment in addition to the sentence imposed for the underlying felony. 18 U.S.C. § 3147 (1982 ed., Supp. III). Under the Probation Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3651, federal judges have long had authority to suspend the execution of certain sentences,
and to impose probation instead. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that § 3147 "supersede[d]" § 3651, leaving federal judges without authority to suspend execution of sentences imposed under § 3147. 794 F.2d 24, 26 (1986). We reverse.
Petitioner, Gloria Rodriguez, was arrested for selling cocaine. While released on a personal recognizance bond, she was arrested again, for selling heroin. She pleaded guilty to both charges. The sentencing judge recognized that § 31471 required that petitioner be sentenced to at least a 2-year term of imprisonment in addition to...
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