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Nancy Lynn Bowen v. United States of America

September 1, 2011

NANCY LYNN BOWEN, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Petitioner Nancy Lynn Bowen, a prisoner currently confined at the Bo Robinson Assessment and Treatment Center in Trenton, New Jersey, has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241,*fn1 challenging the calculation of her sentence.

Based on developments during the pendency of this matter, the Petition will be dismissed as moot.

I. BACKGROUND

Petitioner was sentenced on September 16, 2005, in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Lehigh County, to a term of imprisonment of two-to-six months. On December 7, 2005, Petitioner was sentenced in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas, Lehigh County, to a term of imprisonment of twelve-to-sixteen months.

While she was confined on the Pennsylvania state sentences, Petitioner was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to a 51-month term of imprisonment in Criminal Action No. 06-0210 and to a 51-month term of imprisonment in Criminal Action No. 04-0318. These terms of imprisonment were imposed concurrently to one another and consecutive to the state terms of imprisonment Petitioner was then serving in Pennsylvania.

Petitioner's Pennsylvania sentence was completed on December 7, 2008, whereupon she was delivered to Delaware state authorities pursuant to a writ to answer charges pending there. Petitioner was sentenced in the New Castle County Superior Court, Delaware, to a term of probation for forgery.

On January 15, 2009, Petitioner was released to New Jersey state authorities on outstanding warrants. On June 26, 2009, Petitioner was sentenced in the New Jersey Superior Court, Atlantic County, to serve a collective three-to-seven year term of imprisonment, concurrently with her federal sentence. Petitioner remains confined pursuant to the New Jersey sentence.

Petitioner then filed, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, motions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to amend or correct her federal sentences, which the Court there construed as petitions for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the execution of her sentences. In essence, Petitioner asserted that the Federal Bureau of Prisons should have calculated her federal sentences as starting to run on December 7, 2008, because she alleges that she should have been released to her federal detainer on that date, when she completed her Pennsylvania sentences.

While justifying their calculation that Petitioner's federal sentence had not yet begun to run, because she was not yet in federal custody, Respondents nevertheless advised this Court that they were treating Petitioner's challenge to the calculation of her sentence as a request for a nunc pro tunc designation of a state facility as a place of serving a federal sentence. See Barden v. Keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 484 (3d Cir. 1990). In response to this Court's Order to supplement their response with the results of that analysis, Respondents advise that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has determined that such a nunc pro tunc designation is appropriate. The designation, and thus the commencement of the federal sentence, was made effective as of December 7, 2008, the date Petitioner completed her Pennsylvania sentences. Petitioner's currently projected release date from her federal sentence is July 14, 2012, assuming she earns all eligible good conduct time. Thus, this Court must consider whether Petitioner has received all requested relief and whether the Petition has become moot.

II. ANALYSIS

The Attorney General is responsible for computing federal sentences for all offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987, United States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329 (1992) and 18 U.S.C. § 3585, and the Attorney General has delegated that authority to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, 28 C.F.R. § 0.96 (1992).

Computation of a federal sentence is governed by 18 U.S.C. ยง 3585, and is comprised of a two-step determination of, first, the date on which the federal sentence commences and, second, the extent to which credit is awardable for ...


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