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O'Donald v. Johns

March 22, 2005

DAVID O'DONALD, APPELLANT
v.
TRACY JOHNS, WARDEN



On Appeal From the United States District Court For the Western District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civ. No. 03-cv-00164J) District Judge: Honorable Kim R. Gibson

Per curiam.

Precedential

Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a)March 3, 2005

Before: SLOVITER, BARRY AND FISHER, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

David O'Donald appeals from the District Court's order denying his habeas corpus petition filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. In his habeas petition, O'Donald challenges the calculation of his good conduct time ("GCT") by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). For the following reasons, we will affirm the District Court's order.

O'Donald is currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, serving a federal sentence of 144 months for armed bank robbery. According to the BOP, O'Donald is eligible under the applicable statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), to earn up to 564 days of GCT.

Under its calculation of GCT, the BOP projects O'Donald's release date as May 4, 2007.

After exhausting administrative remedies, O'Donald challenged the BOP's calculation of his GCT by filing a habeas corpus petition in the District Court. In his habeas petition, O'Donald argues that the BOP's calculation of his GCT deprives him of the amount to which he is entitled by statute. O'Donald asserts that § 3624(b) allows him to earn up to 54 days per year of the term of sentence imposed, not 54 days per year of time actually served as the BOP's calculation provides.

The Magistrate Judge to whom the case was assigned disagreed with O'Donald and recommended denying his habeas corpus petition. After receiving O'Donald's objections, the District Court adopted the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation and denied O'Donald's petition. O'Donald appeals.*fn1

The version of § 3624(b) applicable to O'Donald provided in relevant part:

A prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment of more than one year, other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of his life, shall receive credit toward the service of the prisoner's sentence, beyond the time served, of fifty-four days, at the end of each year of his term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the first year of the term, unless the Bureau of Prisons determines that, during that year, he has not satisfactorily complied with such institutional disciplinary regulations as have been approved by the Attorney General and issued to the prisoner.... Credit for the last year or portion of a year of the term of imprisonment shall be prorated and credited within the last six weeks of the sentence.

18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) (effective Nov. 1, 1987).

The BOP interprets the statute as allowing 54 days of GCT "for each year served." 28 C.F.R. ยง 523.20. To effectuate its interpretation of the statute, the BOP utilizes a formula for calculating GCT which takes into account the fact that an inmate's time actually served becomes incrementally shorter each year as he is awarded GCT. See ...


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