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Frascarelli v. Williams

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

November 16, 2018

ROBERT ALAN FRASCARELLI Petitioner,
v.
D. K. WILLIAMS, Respondent.

          RULING RE: PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS (DOC. NO. 1)

          JANET C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The petitioner, Robert Alan Frascarelli (“Frascarelli”), is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury Connecticut (“FCI Danbury”). Frascarelli is currently serving the remainder of a sentence imposed in Mexico, pursuant to a prisoner transfer treaty between the United States and Mexico. Pursuant to section 2241 of title 28 of the United States Code, he filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, challenging the computation of his final release date by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). See generally, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Petition”) (Doc. No. 1). Frascarelli claims that the BOP incorrectly denied him credit on his sentence for 1544 foreign labor days worked in Mexico. Id. at 10. For the reasons that follow, Frascarelli's Petition is denied.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Mexican Judgment and Calculation of Transfer Treaty Sentence

         Frascarelli was sentenced, in the First Penal Court in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, to a term of imprisonment of 27 years and six months, after being found guilty of “Qualified Homicide Committed with Advantage.” See id. The parties' filings reflect a potential dispute as to the date of Frascarelli's sentencing. Frascarelli stated in his Petition, that he was sentenced on August 23, 2010. See Petition at 10. Respondent, D. K. Williams (“Williams”), Warden of FCI Danbury, stated in her Response to this court's Order to Show Cause, that Frascarelli was sentenced on November 6, 2012. See Respondent's Response to Order to Show Cause (“Resp't Resp.”) (Doc. No. 7) at 1. Frascarelli submitted a certified English translation of the judgment and sentence of the Mexican court as Exhibit 1 to his Reply to the Respondent's Response. See Petitioner's Reply to Order to Show Cause in Support of Petition for Habeas Corpus (“Pet'r Reply”) (Doc. No. 10), Ex. 1. The translation makes clear that Frascarelli was originally sentenced on August 23, 2010, but that an appellate court annulled the judgment and sentence and remanded the case. See id. at 1. On remand, on November 6, 2012, the First Penal Court, Tijuana, found Frascarelli guilty and sentenced him, inter alia, to a term of imprisonment of 27 years and six months. See id. at 1, 8. The court concludes that Frascarelli was sentenced on November 6, 2012.

         On January 9, 2014, Frascarelli applied for a transfer to the United States to serve the remainder of his sentence, pursuant to the United States-Mexico Treaty on the Execution of Penal Sentences. Resp't Resp. at 2; see generally, Treaty on the Execution of Penal Sentences, Mex.-U.S., Nov. 25, 1976, T.I.A.S. No. 8718 (“Transfer Treaty”).

         Frascarelli was transferred from Mexico to the United States on March 24, 2014. See id. Following Frascarelli's transfer to the United States, the United States Parole Commission (“USPC”) determined Frascarelli's initial release date under the most similar offense under the laws of the United States, pursuant to section 4106A of title 18 of the United States Code. See 18 U.S.C. § 4106A(b)(1)(a). The USPC determined that the most analogous federal offense was second-degree murder, under section 1111(b) of title 18 of the United States Code. See Frascarelli v. United States Parole Comm'n, 857 F.3d 701, 703-04 (5th Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Frascarelli v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 138 S.Ct. 341 (2017). The USPC set Frascarelli's release date after 238 months of service. See Petition at 10. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the USPC's determination on May 23, 2017, see Frascarelli, 857 F.3d at 708, and the Supreme Court denied Frascarelli's Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, Frascarelli v. U.S. Parole Comm'n, 138 S.Ct. 341 (2017).

         Following the USPC's determination of an initial release date, the BOP prepared a sentence computation for Frascarelli, pursuant to section 4105 of title 18 of the United States Code. See Resp't Resp. at 3. The BOP computed a release date of March 3, 2027. See id., Attach. 6 (Sentence Monitoring Computation Data) (Doc. No. 7-7), at 3. Frascarelli was given credit on his sentence for prior incarceration and Good Conduct Time, but he was not given credit on his sentence for labor hours. See id.

         B. Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies and Petition for Habeas Corpus

         Following BOP's sentence computation, Frascarelli filed a Request for Administrative Remedy, directed to Williams in her role as Warden of FCI Danbury, requesting “credit for foreign labor credits accrued while incarcerated in [Mexico] from Nov[ember] 30[, ] 2009 to March 15[, ] 2014.” See Resp't Resp., Attach. 8 (Doc. No. 7-9), at 2. Frascarelli sought “a total of 1544 labor credits.” Id. Williams denied Frascarelli's request. Williams cited to Program Statement 5880.28, the Sentence Computation Manual (CCA of 1984), which provides, in pertinent part, that computations of sentences pursuant to foreign transfer treaties are governed by sections 4105 and 4106(A) of title 18 of the United States Code. See Resp't Resp., Attach. 9 (Program Statement 5880.28) (Doc. No. 7-10), at 4. Section 4105(c)(1) provides that, “[t]he transferred offender shall be entitled to all credits for good time, for labor, or any other credit toward the service of the sentence, which had been given by the transferring country for time served as of the time of the transfer.” 18 U.S.C. § 4105(c)(1). Williams noted in the denial letter, that BOP's Designation and Sentence Computation Center (“DSCC”) had reviewed the documentation submitted by Frascarelli and by the Mexican government in relation to Frascarelli's transfer to the United States. See Resp't Resp., Attach. 9, at 3. The DSCC determined Frascarelli was “not entitled to credits for labor . . . as [the labor credits] were not given by the transferring country . . . at the time of [Frascarelli's] transfer to the United States.” Id. at 3-4. Frascarelli's appeal to the BOP Regional Director, on April 3, 2017, and appeal to BOP's Central Office, on May 22, 2017, were denied on the same grounds. Id. at 7, 10-11.

         On September 5, 2017, following denial of his administrative remedy requests, Frascarelli filed the pro se Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus now before this court, pursuant to section 2241 of title 28 of the United States Code. See generally, Petition. Frascarelli claims that the BOP's denial of labor credit violated (1) the Transfer Treaty; (2) section 4105(c) of Title 18 of the United States Code; (3) BOP Policy Statement 5880.28; and (4) the USPC Treaty Transfer Determination Order. See id. at 6-8. Frascarelli seeks 772 days of Good Time Credit in relief. Id. at 8.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Jurisdiction

         Section 2241 of title 28 of the United States Code extends jurisdiction to district courts to grant writs of habeas corpus. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a). A petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to section 2241 is the appropriate means for a prisoner to challenge the execution of his sentence, including calculations by the Bureau of Prisons of the credit to be given for other periods of detention. See Poindexter v. ...


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