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Johnson v. Denham

United States District Court, D. Colorado

December 19, 2018

JOSHUA JOHNSON, Applicant,
v.
D. DENHAM, Warden, Respondent.

          ORDER

          LEWIS T. BABCOCK JUDGE

         This matter is before me on an Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241, by the Applicant, Joshua Johnson, a federal prisoner appearing pro se. [Doc #5] In this application, Mr. Johnson asserts that the Bureau of Prisons (the “BOP”) erred when computing his federal sentence. Specifically, he asserts that the BOP only credited him with 103 days for pre-sentence time he served while in detention in Colorado jurisdictions prior to the commencement of his federal sentence. Mr. Johnson contends that he should be credited with 331 days. After consideration of the petition, the response filed by the Respondent, the United States of America [Doc #15], and the reply file by Mr. Johnson [Doc #21], I DENY the application for the reasons set forth below.

         I. LAW

         An action brought by a federal prisoner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §2241 is one that challenges the execution of a sentence as “the traditional function of the writ is to secure release from illegal custody.” Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 484, 93 S.Ct. 1827, 36 L.E.2d 439 (1973); see also McIntosh v. United States Parole Comm'n, 115 F.3d 809, 811 (10th Cir. 1997). A challenge to the calculation of a federal prison sentence is properly brought under §2241. See Bloomgren v. Belaski, 948 F.2d 688 (10th Cir. 1991).

         Computation of a federal prison sentence - including the extent to which a defendant can receive credit for time spent in custody prior to commencement of his sentence - is governed by 18 U.S.C. §3585, which provides as follows:

(a) Commencement of sentence. -A sentence to a term of imprisonment commences on the date the defendant is received in custody awaiting transportation to, or arrives voluntarily to commence service of sentence at, the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served.
(b) Credit for prior custody. 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; or
(2) as a result of any other charge for which the defendant was arrested after the commission of the offense for which the sentence was imposed; that has not been credited against another sentence.

         The Attorney General, through the BOP, is responsible for making the sentence calculation contemplated by §3585. United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 337, 112 S.Ct. 1351, 117 L.E.2d 593 (1992).

         As relevant here, Section 3585(b)(2) allows an inmate to use time served in custody prior to the imposition of the federal sentence when the custody was “as a result of any other charge for which the defendant was arrested after the commission of the offense for which the sentence was imposed; that has not been credited against another sentence.” The last clause provides that prior time spent in custody cannot be credited toward a federal sentence if it was used to satisfy another sentence. The Supreme Court has made clear that inmates are not allowed to “double count” credit. U.S. v. Wilson, supra, 503 U.S. at 334.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Mr. Johnson was arrested and taken into custody by the Thornton Colorado Police Department on September 20, 2011. Plaintiff was held in Adams County Colorado from that time until May 25, 2012. For a portion of his detention time in Adams County, he was placed in the temporary custody of the United States Marshals on a federal writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. This temporary custody on the writ was from November 3, 2011 to May 25, 2012. On May 25, 2012, Mr. Johnson was transported back to Adams County where he pled guilty and was sentenced on state charges brought by Adams County.

         Two and one-half months later, on August 16, 2012, Mr. Johnson was given a 120-month federal sentence in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado while on temporary federal custody on another writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum. Five days later, on August 21, 2012, he was returned to state custody in Adams County. Then, ...


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