Monday, March 31st, 2014

District Court Had Jurisdiction To Adjudicate and Punish Violation of Supervised Release

United States v. Bussey, No. 13-1180-cr (2d Cir. Mar. 20, 2014) (Raggi, Lynch, and McMahon), available here

This summary was prepared by noted criminal defense attorney Francisco Celedonio, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of Federal Defenders of New York, Inc.:

Bussey appealed his conviction for violating the terms of his supervised release. He argued that the district court lacked jurisdiction because his term of supervision expired before judgment was imposed. The Circuit affirmed.

The facts: Bussey began serving a three-year term of federal supervision on February 9, 2010, upon his release from federal custody for a felon-in-possession conviction. On April 1, 2011, and April 7, 2011, arrests warrants were issued, respectively, by New York State and the United States, for Bussey’s failure to report for state or federal supervision. Bussey was taken into state custody first and remained there until March 8, 2013. He was then transferred to federal custody on March 20, 2013, at which time he appeared in the district court and was found guilty of violating a condition of his supervision, i.e., he failed to notify his probation officer prior to changing his residence. The district court sentenced Bussey to time served and imposed an addition two years of supervision.

The decision: In rejecting the jurisdictional challenge, the Circuit relied on 18 U.S.C. 3583(i), which provides that the power of the district court to revoke supervision and impose punishment “extends beyond the expiration of the term of supervised release for any period reasonably necessary for the adjudication of matters arising before its expiration….” Further, the Circuit noted that 18 U.S.C.
3624(e) expressly tolls supervision terms for “any period in which the person is imprisoned in connection with a conviction for a Federal, State, or local crime unless the imprisonment is for a period of less than 30 consecutive days.”

Here, Bussey was imprisoned for about  22 months by New York State for violating his parole. That period tolled his federal supervision because Bussey was imprisoned during that time “in connection with a conviction for a … State … crime.” Accordingly, by virtue of the tolling, the district court had jurisdiction to adjudicate Bussey’s federal supervised release violation in March 2013.  

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