United States v. Earl

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 09-05-2013
  • Case #: 12-10169
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Senior District Judge Carr for the Court; Circuit Judges Reinhardt and N.R. Smith.
  • Full Text Opinion

Supervised release does not start when a person is placed in home confinement by the Bureau of Prisons as part of a federal sentence.

Angelo Earl pled guilty to drug offenses and was sentenced by the trial court to 121 months of imprisonment and five years’ supervised release. Earl lived in a halfway house and then in home confinement before he began his supervised release. Later, his probation officer sought to revoke his supervised release for violating conditions, and the trial court revoked his supervised release, sentenced him to six more months in prison, and imposed additional supervised release. After serving the prison sentence, Earl appealed. He argued the trial court did not have jurisdiction to revoke his terms of release. The panel reviewed de novo and addressed the issue of “whether home confinement may begin the running of a person’s term of supervised release.” 18 U.S.C. § 3624(e) specified that a “term of supervised release does not run during any period in which the person is imprisoned in connection with a conviction for a Federal, State, or local crime….” The panel looked at precedent set by United States v. Johnson that “a supervised release term does not commence until an individual is ‘released from imprisonment.’” Applying US v. Miller, the Ninth Circuit held that “a defendant’s term of supervised release does not begin when the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") places him in home confinement as part of his federal sentence” because he was under BOP’s legal custody and not yet complete with his federal terms of imprisonment. Thus, the revocation petition was timely and the trial court retained jurisdiction. The panel rejected Earl’s argument that home confinement is not literally imprisonment by looking at statutory language and precedent and concluded that Earl was not released from imprisonment because he had not completed his sentence when BOP put him in home confinement. AFFIRMED.

Advanced Search