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Tucker v. United States

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

December 30, 2015

RAHKIM TUCKER, Petitioner,


Janet Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.

On April 6, 2010, Petitioner Rahkim Tucker pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, for which he was sentenced to 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Because Mr. Tucker violated the terms of his supervised release, on September 5, 2012, the Court placed him on electronic monitoring for six months. Mr. Tucker then violated the conditions of his home confinement. As a result, on January 31, 2013, the Court sentenced him to twelve months’ imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. On February 3, 2014, Mr. Tucker provided a urine sample which tested positive for marijuana, in violation of his conditions of supervised release. Five days later, on February 8, 2014, he was arrested by state authorities for several drug-related crimes, again in violation of the conditions of his release. A revocation hearing was held on October 29, 2014, and on December 10, 2014, this Court sentenced Mr. Tucker to two years, to run concurrently with his state sentence of three years (imposed on December 12, 2014). Mr. Tucker now moves [Doc. # 1] to Vacate, Set Aside, or Correct a Sentence by a Person in Federal Custody pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Court issued an Order to Show Cause on September 16, 2015, to which the Government responded on October 23, 2015.

I. Background

During the October 29, 2014 revocation hearing, Mr. Tucker expressed his desire to remain in state custody, rather than being transferred to a federal facility so that he could complete a gang renunciation program which he had started. (See Revocation Hr’g Tr., Ex. 1 to Gov’t’s Resp. [Doc. # 5] at 10.) He also expressed a preference to remain in state custody so that he could become eligible for parole. (Id. at 29.)

The Court explained to him that he would receive credit toward his anticipated three-year state sentence for time served, so that by the time he had served his two-year federal sentence, he would only have a few months left to serve in state custody. (Id. at 31.) Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy then interjected, leading to the following exchange:

Ms. Duffy: [M]y understanding is if he was sentenced today and put into federal custody, he would get credit back to January on the federal term.
[Defense Attorney Justin] Smith: Yes, your Honor. That’s my understanding. . . .
The Court: If he’s sentenced in a month, but before the state imposes its sentence, that’s still true and he gets ten months [credit].
Ms. Duffy: Exactly. . . . I believe if he was sentenced by the state in December to three years, he would get the time served already to the state sentence, and if he was sentenced federally after that, that whatever the sentence was, if you were to say it was to run concurrent, it would run concurrently with him serving his state sentence so that he might not – again, this is always up to BOP, too, but he may not go into federal jail at that point. . . .
The Court: So Ms. Duffy is suggesting that if your state sentence proceeds and a federal sentence is imposed after that concurrently, at some point at which the numbers work out you wouldn’t have anymore [sic] time because you would have served the federal time if it were imposed concurrently already in state prison.

(Id. at 32–34.) Ultimately, the Court decided to continue sentencing to allow the state to sentence Mr. Tucker before it imposed the federal sentence and to permit Mr. Tucker to complete the gang renunciation program. (Id. at 35.)

When the parties returned to Court on December 10, 2014 for sentencing, however, the Court learned that Mr. Tucker’s state sentence had not yet been imposed and Mr. Tucker had been transferred to federal custody. (Sent. Tr., Ex. 2 to Gov’t’s Resp. at 4.) Mr. Smith urged the Court “to impose a sentence of 18 months as opposed to the full 24 months” (id. at 7), while the Government sought a sentence of 24 months (id. at 8). In imposing a sentence of 24 months, the Court explained:

I realize that there have been some changes in your state court situation such that you now find yourself in federal custody, but the objective of the Court at this point is to impose a sentence that reflects the seriousness of a third time supervised release violation, promotes respect for the law, is just punishment, and provides adequate deterrence to your ...

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