August 18, 2019

Tenth Circuit: Defendant’s Continuing Cycle of Supervised Release Revocation Followed by Imprisonment Is Not Endless, Despite His Feelings Otherwise

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Hernandez on Tuesday, August 23, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s sentence. Petitioner was convicted of possessing an unregistered firearm. Part of his sentence included supervised release. When he violated his release, he spent more time in jail, followed by another supervised release violation, more time in jail, and another violation resulting in a final sentence of eighteen months (no longer followed by supervised release). Petitioner challenges his latest prison sentence, alleging that it exceeds the authority granted to the district court by 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3).

The Court disagreed with Petitioner’s reading of the statute. His current term of imprisonment falls below the two-year maximum and he is not entitled to “time served” consideration because the language provides that the two-year sentence may be imposed “on any such revocation” of supervised release. Also, despite Petitioner’s claims to the contrary, safeguards are in place to prevent defendants like him from being trapped in endless cycles of imprisonment and release, even when their continued pattern of revocation makes them feel otherwise.

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