United States v. Cassesse, No. 10-2210-cr (2d Cir. July 11, 2012, amended July 25, 2012) (Newman, Katzmann, Parker, CJJ)
This case untangles a mathematic quandary left by some unclear statutes: how can a life term of supervised release, imposed on a supervised release violation, be reduced by the number of months of the prison term imposed for that same violation? Here the district court simply sentenced the defendant to twelve months in prison on the violation to be followed by another life term of supervised release. Describing the issue as “almost metaphysical,” the circuit affirmed.
Cassesse was originally convicted under a drug statute that carries a maximum possible supervised release term of life, and was sentenced to that, to follow an eighty-seven month term of imprisonment.
After his release to supervision, Cassesse pled guilty in a new federal case – this one involving racketeering – and received a …