United States District Court, D. New Jersey
OPINION & ORDER
STANLEY R. CHESLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court upon the motion pro se
by Defendant Rasheed Smith (“Defendant”) for
early termination from supervised release. ECF No. 130. The
United States of America (the “Government”)
opposes the application. ECF No. 133. Defendant's
attorney at the time of his conviction and sentencing
submitted a letter supporting Defendant's motion, and
stating that the U.S. Probation Office has no objection to
this request. ECF No. 132. The Court has considered these
submissions and, for the reasons set forth below, will deny
was convicted in 2011 of conspiracy with the intent to
distribute a controlled substance. He was sentenced to a term
of sixty months imprisonment, followed by five years of
supervised release. Defendant was released from this sentence
and began his term of supervised release on or around
September 18, 2014.
motion before the Court, Defendant requests that his
five-year term of supervised release be terminated early,
approximately eight months before his term of supervised
release is scheduled to terminate in September 2019.
Defendant states, among other things, that “being on
probation puts a target on his back, ” that he is
unable to find employment because of this, and that he is
unable to take family trips because he is unable to leave the
State of New Jersey. ECF No. 130. Defendant further states
that being on supervised release “is hindering him from
being great, ” and maintains that since his release in
2014, he has not had “any problems with
police, parole, or [his] probation officer.”
Id. Finally, Defendant notes that while
incarcerated, he completed the Federal Bureau of Prisons'
Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”) and
obtained a General Equivalency Diploma (“GED”),
and, after completing a six-month stay at a halfway house,
has since obtained a New Jersey driver's license, a
forklift license, and a certification from the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”).
motion is subject to 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e), which
authorizes a court, upon consideration of the factors set
forth in Section 3553(a), to modify a term of supervised
release. In particular, the statute provides that, after the
expiration of one year of the term of supervised release, a
court may terminate the supervised release “if it is
satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct of the
defendant released and the interest of justice.” 18
U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1). A court has “wide
discretion” in determining whether to take such action.
United States v. Hook, 471 F.3d 766, 771 (7th Cir.
2006); see also United States v. Paterno, no.
99-CR-037, 2002 WL 1065682, at *1-2 (D.N.J. Apr. 30, 2002)
(consulting jurisprudence on early termination of supervised
release under Section 3583(e) and noting that “[c]ourts
generally agree that early termination is a discretionary
decision that is only warranted in cases where the defendant
shows changed circumstances, such as exceptionally good
behavior.”). Generally, early termination of a term of
supervised release is warranted only where the defendant
demonstrates “changed circumstances” which
“render a previously imposed term or condition of
release either too harsh or inappropriately tailored to serve
the general punishment goals of section 3553(a).”
United States v. Lussier, 104 F.3d 32, 36 (2d Cir.
1997); see also Paterno, 2002 WL 1065682, at *2
(holding same and citing Lussier). Mere compliance
by a defendant with the terms of his supervised release,
without more, will not suffice. Paterno, 2002 WL
1065682, at *2; United States v. McKay, 352
F.Supp.2d 356, 361 (E.D.N.Y. 2005). The burden is on the
defendant to demonstrate that early termination of supervised
release is warranted. United States v. Webber, 451
F.3d 552, 559 n.9 (9th Cir. 2006).
has not met the burden of demonstrating that relief under
Section 3583(e)(1) is warranted. He has not shown that there
are new or unforeseen circumstances which justify reducing
his term of supervised release. Moreover, as the Government
indicates in its submission, Defendant fails to set forth any
special circumstances warranting termination of the
supervised release term, particularly in light of
Defendant's January 2018 supervised release violation
upon testing positive for cocaine use. While the Court
commends Defendant for continuing to try to “better
himself” and recognizes his efforts to contribute to
his family and community, the Court is persuaded that
continuation of Defendant's term of supervised release
may very well assist Defendant in his continued
ORDERED that Defendant's motion for
early termination of his term of supervised ...