960 F.2d 278 (2nd Cir. 1992), 78, United States v. Edwards

Docket Nº78, Docket 91-1215.
Citation960 F.2d 278
Party NameUNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Roderick EDWARDS, Defendant-Appellant.
Case DateFebruary 28, 1992
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Page 278

960 F.2d 278 (2nd Cir. 1992)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee,

v.

Roderick EDWARDS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 78, Docket 91-1215.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

February 28, 1992

Argued Sept. 17, 1991.

Page 279

Marjorie M. Smith, New York City (Legal Aid Soc. Federal Defender Services Appeals Unit, of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

Miguel A. Estrada, Asst. U.S. Atty., New York City (Otto G. Obermaier, U.S. Atty., S.D.N.Y., David E. Brodsky, Asst. U.S. Atty., of counsel), for appellee.

Before: MESKILL, PIERCE and MAHONEY, Circuit Judges.

PIERCE, Circuit Judge:

Roderick Edwards appeals from a judgment of conviction and sentence entered in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Pierre N. Leval, Judge, following Edwards' plea of guilty to distributing and possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A). The district court sentenced Edwards to the statutory mandatory minimum of 120 months' imprisonment, 5 years' supervised release, and a $50 assessment.

On appeal, Edwards contends that the district court erred in not granting him sentencing credit for the time he spent released on bail, during which he was placed under electronic monitoring. We conclude that the district court has the authority to grant sentencing credit in the appropriate circumstances, that Edwards was not eligible for sentencing credit, and that Edwards' equal protection claim is without merit. Accordingly, we affirm the district court's judgment.

BACKGROUND

On June 24, 1990, Roderick Edwards and Lillian Jones, an alleged co-conspirator of Edwards, were arrested by agents of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as a result of an undercover investigation of narcotics traffickers operating in housing projects in Manhattan, New York. On June 25, 1990, a criminal complaint was filed against Edwards and Jones. The complaint charged Edwards with conspiring to violate federal narcotics laws and distributing and possessing with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base in an apartment building in Manhattan, New York. That same day, Edwards was presented before a magistrate judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 1

Page 280

At the bail hearing, the government sought to have Edwards detained without bail on the grounds that he presented a risk of flight and posed a danger to the community. That application was denied. Edwards was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond, co-signed by Edwards' mother, his uncle, and a friend and business partner of his uncle; further, he was ordered to remain in his uncle's custody and instructed not to leave his uncle's apartment unless his uncle accompanied him. The government appealed to a district judge from this ruling of the magistrate judge and on June 26, 1990, the district court affirmed the bail ruling, but required, in addition to the conditions set by the magistrate judge, that the court's Pretrial Services Agency ("PSA") place Edwards under electronic monitoring. Thereafter, Edwards was subjected to electronic monitoring, and was directed not to leave his uncle's apartment without notifying the PSA and receiving its permission.

On September 27, 1990, a one-count information charging Edwards with distributing and possessing with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 2 and Title 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A), was filed. Edwards was arraigned and released under the pre-existing bail conditions. On October 17, 1990, Edwards pleaded guilty to violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 841(a)(1), and 841(b)(1)(A). Following the plea allocution, the government sought to have Edwards detained pursuant to Title 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a). This application was denied and Edwards was allowed to remain on bail under the same terms pending sentence. On April 11, 1991, at the time of Edwards' sentencing, his attorney, requested that

since Mr. Edwards has been under a very severe form of supervision amounting to home detention and because home detention is treated in the Sentencing Guidelines in many instances as the substantial equivalent of a term of imprisonment, I request that the time that Mr. Edwards has spent on bail under what amounts to home detention be credited toward the time he will be required to spend in prison in this case.

This request was denied.

The district court ruled that Title 18 U.S.C. § 3585(b), infra, did not provide for a defendant to receive credit for time released on bail, even when the conditions of the bail release were somewhat onerous and had directed that the defendant remain at his home. The court noted that although § 3585(b) does provide for a defendant to receive credit for time spent in official detention, it did not cover release under all of the varying degrees of court-ordered pre-trial restraint. The court further noted that even though bail orders are "orders of release," which characteristically include "some detentive aspect," credit was not available under the statute as a bail release order is not "an order of detention." Sentence was imposed and Edwards is now serving his sentence, as described above. This appeal followed.

DISCUSSION

I.

The first question raised herein is whether a district court, under § 3585(b), has the authority to grant sentencing credit to a defendant at the time of imposition of sentence. The government argues that Edwards' motion for sentencing credit was premature and that he is required to exhaust the administrative remedies provided by the United States Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") in the first instance. The government argues that, if the BOP rejects Edwards' request he can seek review in the district court in the district of his confinement pursuant to Title 28 U.S.C. § 2241. We conclude that, in a proper case, the district court does have the authority to grant sentencing credit to a defendant at the time of sentence.

Page 281

In support of its contention that Edwards is required to exhaust his administrative remedies, the government relies primarily upon case law decided under the now-repealed Title 18 U.S.C. § 3568 (1982). Section 3568 read in pertinent part:

The sentence of imprisonment of any person convicted of an offense shall commence to run from the date on which such person is received at the penitentiary, reformatory, or jail for service of such sentence. The Attorney General shall give any such person credit toward service of his sentence for any days spent in custody in connection with the offense or acts for which sentence was imposed.

18 U.S.C. § 3568 (1982).

Section 3568 explicitly delegated the authority for computing sentences and granting credit for time served to the Attorney General, who, in turn, delegated such authority to the BOP. See United States v. Pelaez, 930 F.2d 520, 524 (6th Cir.1991). Thus, a defendant seeking credit for time previously served was required under § 3568 to exhaust the available administrative remedies prior to seeking relief under Title 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Gonzalez v. Perrill, 919 F.2d 1, 1-2 (2d Cir.1990) (per curiam). Also, a defendant released on bail pending trial was not entitled to credit toward his sentence for the period he was on bail, because § 3568 required that the defendant be "in custody," that is, physically confined. Mieles v. United States, 895 F.2d 887, 888 (2d Cir.1990). 2

However, § 3568 was repealed by the enactment of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which included § 3585(b) as part of the federal sentencing provisions. See Pinaud v. James, 851 F.2d 27, 30-31 (2d Cir.1988). Section 3585(b), which took effect for crimes committed on or after November 1, 1987, contains no reference to the Attorney General and provides:

A defendant shall be given credit toward the service of a term of imprisonment for any time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences--

(1) as a result of the offense for which the sentence was imposed; ... that has not been credited against another sentence.

18 U.S.C. § 3585(b) (1988).

Section 3585 is part of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. The interpretation of a federal statute is a question of law which we review de novo. United States v. Wilson, 916 F.2d 1115, 1117 (6th Cir.1990), cert. granted, --- U.S. ----, 112 S.Ct. 48, 116 L.Ed.2d 26 (1991). The legislative history of § 3585(b) does not provide clear guidance on the changes in phraseology between the repealed § 3568 and its successor § 3585; it does not contain a statement of congressional intent to either alter or retain the administrative procedures under which the BOP previously computed sentences. See Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, S.Rep. No. 225, 98th Cong., 2d Sess. 128-29 (1984), reprinted in 1984 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3182, 3311-12.

Apparently, because of the change in the statutory language and the lack of any clear indication in the legislative history concerning the effect of that change, the courts have adopted various approaches as to whether, under § 3585(b), a prisoner has to exhaust administrative remedies prior to seeking relief in the district court for sentencing credit.

Previously, this Circuit has not ruled on the issue. The Seventh and Eleventh Circuits...

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34 practice notes
  • 974 F.2d 736 (6th Cir. 1992), 91-6153, United States v. Westmoreland
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • September 10, 1992
    ...v. United States, 968 F.2d 655 (8th Cir.1992) (en banc ); Mills v. Taylor, 967 F.2d 1397 (9th Cir.1992); United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278 (2d Cir.1992); Pinedo v. United States, 955 F.2d 12 (5th Cir.1992); United States v. Zackular, 945 F.2d 423 (1st Cir.1991); United States v. Insley......
  • 3 F.3d 54 (2nd Cir. 1993), 1543, Gianoli Aldunate, Application of
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • August 20, 1993
    ...limitations on the district court's exercise of discretion is a question of law, which we review de novo. See United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278, 281 (2d Cir.1992) ("The interpretation of a federal statute is a question of law which we review de novo."); see also Asta Medica, ......
  • 19 F.3d 93 (2nd Cir. 1994), 624, United States v. Stevens
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • March 16, 1994
    ...Due Process Clause. See Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497, 499-500, 74 S.Ct. 693, 694-695, 98 L.Ed. 884 (1954); United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278, 283 (2d Cir.1992). Seagers does not contend that either Congress or the Federal Sentencing Commission acted with discriminatory intent; accor......
  • 28 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 1994), 93-10321, United States v. Daggao
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • July 1, 1994
    ...time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences.... (Emphasis added). [2] See United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278, 283 (2d Cir.1992); United States v. Wickman, 955 F.2d 592, 593 (8th Cir.1992) (en banc); United States v. Insley, 927 F.2d 185, 186 (4th Cir......
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34 cases
  • 974 F.2d 736 (6th Cir. 1992), 91-6153, United States v. Westmoreland
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • September 10, 1992
    ...v. United States, 968 F.2d 655 (8th Cir.1992) (en banc ); Mills v. Taylor, 967 F.2d 1397 (9th Cir.1992); United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278 (2d Cir.1992); Pinedo v. United States, 955 F.2d 12 (5th Cir.1992); United States v. Zackular, 945 F.2d 423 (1st Cir.1991); United States v. Insley......
  • 3 F.3d 54 (2nd Cir. 1993), 1543, Gianoli Aldunate, Application of
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • August 20, 1993
    ...limitations on the district court's exercise of discretion is a question of law, which we review de novo. See United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278, 281 (2d Cir.1992) ("The interpretation of a federal statute is a question of law which we review de novo."); see also Asta Medica, ......
  • 19 F.3d 93 (2nd Cir. 1994), 624, United States v. Stevens
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • March 16, 1994
    ...Due Process Clause. See Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497, 499-500, 74 S.Ct. 693, 694-695, 98 L.Ed. 884 (1954); United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278, 283 (2d Cir.1992). Seagers does not contend that either Congress or the Federal Sentencing Commission acted with discriminatory intent; accor......
  • 28 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 1994), 93-10321, United States v. Daggao
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Courts of Appeals Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • July 1, 1994
    ...time he has spent in official detention prior to the date the sentence commences.... (Emphasis added). [2] See United States v. Edwards, 960 F.2d 278, 283 (2d Cir.1992); United States v. Wickman, 955 F.2d 592, 593 (8th Cir.1992) (en banc); United States v. Insley, 927 F.2d 185, 186 (4th Cir......
  • Request a trial to view additional results