Wilson v. Baird et al
PRISCS - RULING on 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 7/11/11. (Corriette, M.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
MAUREEN BAIRD and
CASE NO. 3:11cv353(AWT)
RULING ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
Petitioner Marilyn Rodriguez-Wilson (“Rodriguez-Wilson”), an
inmate confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in
Danbury, Connecticut, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2241 challenging the denial of early release for completion of
the residential drug abuse treatment program.
For the reasons
that follow, the petition is being denied.
In March 2008, Rodriguez-Wilson entered a guilty plea on a
charge of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
She was sentenced to a term
of imprisonment of seventy months.
In March 2010, the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) determined that
Rodriguez-Wilson was not eligible for early release upon
completion of the Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”) because
she had been convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).
Rodriguez-Wilson challenges a correctional decision
regarding a prison program.
Thus, she properly brings her
petition pursuant to section 2241.
See Carmona v. United States
Bureau of Prisons, 243 F.3d 629, 632 (2d Cir. 2001).
Rodriguez-Wilson argues that she was improperly denied a
one-year sentence reduction for completion of the RDAP.
respondents argue that the petition should be denied.
Rodriguez-Wilson was informed of the contents of a proper reply
to the response to the petition, she has neither filed a reply
nor sought additional time within which to do so.
Habeas relief is warranted when a prisoner is held in
custody in violation of the United States Constitution or federal
laws or treaties.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3).
has identified no constitutionally protected or federally
mandated right to early release.
The federal statute creating
the RDAP provides that early release is discretionary.
U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2)(B) (providing that term of imprisonment of
inmate convicted of nonviolent offense “may be reduced” by period
of up to one year after successful completion of RDAP).
completion of the RDAP does not automatically entitle RodriguezWilson to early release.
See Lopez v. Davis, 531 U.S. 230, 241
(2001) (upon completion of the RDAP, the BOP “has the authority,
but not the duty, to authorize a reduction in the inmate’s term
Under 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), a reviewing court must hold
unlawful and set aside any agency action found to be arbitrary,
capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in
accordance with law.
This review, however, is narrow in scope.
The court should not substitute its judgment for that of the
Rather, the court should uphold agency action if the
agency has examined the relevant data and has either set forth a
satisfactory explanation including a rational connection between
the facts found and the choice made or such connection may
reasonably be discerned.
See Karpova v. Snow, 497 F.3d 262, 267-
68 (2d Cir. 2007) (citing Motor Vehicle Mfrs. Ass’n of U.S., Inc.
v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 463 U.S. 29, 43 (1983)), cert.
denied, 553 U.S. 1054 (2008).
The early release qualifications for the RDAP are set forth
in BOP Directive 5331.02, Early Release Procedures Under 18
U.S.C. § 3621(e).
(last visited July 8, 2011).
To be eligible for early release,
an inmate must not have a current conviction for “[a]n offense
involving carrying, possession or use of a firearm or other
dangerous weapon or explosives (including any explosive material
or explosive device).”
Id. at 4; see also 28 C.F.R. §
The BOP Director also has discretion to deny
early release to an inmate convicted of certain offenses.
Director has exercised that discretion to preclude early release
for any inmate convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).
Program Statement 5162.05, Categorization of Offenses, at 15.
The Supreme Court has approved the BOP’s interpretation of
the regulation and directive.
In Lopez v. Davis, the Supreme
Court upheld the constitutionality of 28 C.F.R. § 550.55 and the
BOP’s practice of categorically excluding inmates from
eligibility for early release based on their pre-conviction
See 530 U.S. at 244.
The BOP denied early release to Rodriguez-Wilson under the
categorical exclusion; her conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)
rendered her ineligible for early release consideration.
Resp’ts’ Mem. Ex. 1, Decl. of Lori R. Cruz, ¶9.
has failed to show that the denial of early release for
completion of the RDAP was an abuse of discretion.
her petition must be denied.
The petition for writ of habeas corpus [Doc. #1] is hereby
The Clerk is directed to enter judgment and close this
The court concludes that Rodriguez-Wilson has not shown that
she was denied a constitutionally or federally protected right.
Thus, any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith
and a certificate of appealability will not issue.
It is so ordered this 11th day of July 2011 at Hartford,
Alvin W. Thompson
United States District Judge
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