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UNITED STATES v. ADDONIZIO ET AL.

decided: June 4, 1979.

UNITED STATES
v.
ADDONIZIO ET AL.



CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT.

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all other Members joined, except Brennan, J., who took no part in the decision of the case, and Powell, J., who took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.

Author: Stevens

[ 442 U.S. Page 179]

 MR. JUSTICE STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court.

Three prisoners have alleged that a post-sentencing change in the policies of the United States Parole Commission has prolonged their actual imprisonment beyond the period intended by the sentencing judge. The question presented is whether this type of allegation will support a collateral attack on the original sentence under 28 U. S. C. ยง 2255.*fn1 We hold that it will not.

[ 442 U.S. Page 180]

     I

With respect to the legal issue presented, the claims before us are identical. To bring this issue into sharp focus, we accept for purposes of decision Addonizio's view of the facts and the relevant aspects of the Parole Commission's practices.

After his conviction in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, on September 22, 1970, Addonizio was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of $25,000. Factors which led the District Judge to impose that sentence included the serious character of Addonizio's offenses,*fn2 and the judge's expectation that exemplary institutional

[ 442 U.S. Page 181]

     behavior would lead to Addonizio's release when he became eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence.*fn3 The judge did not contemplate that the Parole Commission

[ 442 U.S. Page 182]

     might rely on the seriousness of the offense as a reason for refusing a parole which Addonizio would otherwise receive.

In 1973, the Parole Commission markedly changed its policies.*fn4 Under its new practices the gravity of the offense became a significant factor in determining whether a prisoner should be granted parole. Addonizio became eligible for parole on July 3, 1975. After hearings, the Parole Commission twice refused to ...


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