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Old 06-02-2004, 11:26 AM
neil's girl neil's girl is offline
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Default Great resource on Good Time Credit: 54 or 47 days

I haven't posted here in a really long time, but I've been reading some of the posts on good time credit, and my fiance asked me to do some reasearch on the recent Wisconsin case. I came across a resource on the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' webpage - it's comprehensive and I found it helpful.

You can find it at this link


Here's how it starts, but you have to go to their page to have access to all the exhibits and memos:

Good Time Credit: 54 or 47 Days

Welcome To The Effort To End Illegal Overincarceration Of Federal Prisoners Based On Misconstruction Of 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), The Federal Good Time Statute.

The following links will hopefully provide you with some resources helpful to your litigation to create a Circuit conflict to right this wrong. For additional information, contact Lynn Deffebach at lynn_deffebach@fd.org.


Introduction to the 54-47 Cause


The Bureau of Prisons has been miscalculating good time credits by seven days a year for every year of incarceration since 1987. Despite Senator Joseph Biden's belief -- co-author of the federal good time statute -- that federal prisoners receive a 15% reduction in their sentences for good behavior, the Bureau of Prisons never gives 15% and only allows a maximum credit of 12.8%.

If the BOP's misinterpretation of the statute were corrected, current federal prisoners would recover up to 27,000 years of over-incarceration, that costs taxpayers over $500,000,000.00. The error lies in the BOP's misinterpretation of the plain language of the good time statute contrary to the express intent of Congress to count good time credits against the "term of imprisonment" imposed by the sentencing judge. Instead, the BOP only counts time against time actually served, which results in seven days less credit per year.

The BOP rule affects about 95% of federal prisoners sentenced since 1987, those eligible for good time under 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b). The BOP implemented its interpretation of the rule with no regard for legislative history and legislative intent. But after a recent Ninth Circuit opinion finding the statute "ambiguous," then deferring to the agency instead of applying the rule of lenity, the only way to save millennia of time is by litigation in district
courts around the country to develop a conflict in the circuits to correct this terrible injustice.

The merits favor the prisoner in every way. The statute is plain, and all the rules of statutory construction favor our interpretation. The problem is partly political: how to persuade judges that the rule of law should trump the
administrative convenience -- and perhaps embarrassment -- of the jailers. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), and the National Association of Federal Defenders (NAFD) have provided amicus support on this issue, and the briefing necessary to litigate this issue is easily available on this Website. We need litigators in every district if the illegal and immoral over-incarceration is to be brought to an end. We need you!

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