COLEMAN v. HOLLINGSWORTH
OPINION FILED. Signed by Judge Robert B. Kugler on 2/2/15. (js)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 14-0276 (RBK)
WARDEN JORDAN HOLLINGSWORTH,
ROBERT B. KUGLER, U.S.D.J.
Petitioner is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at F.C.I. Fort Dix in Fort Dix, New
Jersey. He is proceeding pro se with an amended petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241. Petitioner was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of a
government witness, obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting. He received a life sentence.
He claims that he should be released from federal incarceration because earned good time credits
he has received are not being applied to his sentence. For the following reasons, the amended
habeas petition will be denied.
On August 5, 1987, petitioner was sentenced after a jury found him guilty of: (1)
conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of
any right or privilege secured to him, see 18 U.S.C. § 241; (2) obstruction of justice, see id. §
1503; and (3) aiding, abetting or causing an act to be done by another which is an offense against
the United States, see id. § 2. He received a sentence of life imprisonment. In 2010, the United
States Parole Commission decided that petitioner would continue his sentence to its expiration.
Under the statutory provision applicable to petitioner’s case, this would be a period of thirty
years. See 18 U.S.C. § 4206(d). 1 The Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (“BOP”) website indicates that
petitioner is currently due to be released from federal incarceration on May 31, 2015. 2
In January, 2104, the Court received petitioner’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. As petitioner had neither paid the filing fee nor submitted an
application to proceed in forma pauperis, the matter was administratively terminated.
Subsequently, on May 28, 2014, the Court received the requisite $5.00 filing fee from petitioner.
Thereafter, on June 2, 2014, the Court received petitioner’s amended petition for writ of habeas
corpus and the matter was reopened.
Petitioner requests in his amended habeas petition that he be immediately released. He
claims that the United States Parole Commission has deliberately refused to adhere to its parole
policies and procedures by not applying his earned good time credits to his sentence. Petitioner
claims that he has earned 1,482 days of good time credits. Accordingly, petitioner asserts that he
should be released from federal incarceration at this time when these earned good time credits
Section 4206 states as follows:
Any prisoner, serving a sentence of five years or longer, who is not
earlier released under this section or any other applicable provision
of law, shall be released on parole after having served two-thirds of
each consecutive term or terms, or after serving thirty years of each
consecutive term or terms of more than forty-five years including
any life term, whichever is earlier: Provided, however, That the
Commission shall not release such prisoner if it determines that he
has seriously or frequently violated institution rules and regulations
or that there is a reasonable probability that he will commit any
Federal, State, or local crime.
18 U.S.C. § 4206(d).
Petitioner was awarded jail time credits from May 31, 1985 until he was sentenced in August,
1987 (See Dkt. No. 9-1 at p. 3.)
are applied to his sentence. Furthermore, petitioner also argues that the warden at F.C.I. Fort Dix
also has refused to release him by applying his earned good time credits to his sentence.
Respondent has filed a response to the habeas petition and petitioner has filed a reply in
support of his habeas petition. Thus, the habeas petition will now be analyzed.
As stated in supra Part II, petitioner claims that he should be released from federal
incarceration as his earned good time credits have not been properly applied to his federal
sentence. Title 18 of United States Code Section 4161 governs the calculation of good time
credits for prisoners, such as petitioner, who committed his offenses prior to November 1, 1987.
See Pinto v. DeRosa, No. 04-1380, 2005 WL 2320092, at *3 n.3 (D.N.J. Sept. 21, 2005) (noting
that Section 4161 has been repealed but remains in effect with respect to a petitioner who
committed his offense prior to November 1, 1987); see also Lueth v. Beach, 498 F.3d 795, 798
n.5 (8th Cir. 2007) (stating that while Section 4161 has been repealed, it remains applicable to
offenses committed before November 1, 1987); Quinjano v. Hufford, No. 11-2254, 2012 WL
3775765, at *2 n.3 (M.D. Pa. Aug. 29, 2012) (stating that Section 4161 provides guidance for
calculating sentences for prisoners who committed their crimes prior to November 1, 1987), aff’d
by, 516 F. App’x 106 (3d Cir. 2013). Section 4161 states as follows:
Each prisoner convicted of an offense against the United States and
confined in a penal or correctional institution for a definite term
other than life, whose record of conduct shows that he has
faithfully observed all the rules and has not been subjected to
punishment, shall be entitled to a deduction from the term of his
sentence beginning with the day on which the sentence commences
to run, as follows:
Five days for each month, if the sentence is not less
than six months and not more than one year.
Six days for each month, if the sentence is more
than one year and less than three years.
Seven days for each month, if the sentence is not
less than three years and less than five years.
Eight days for each month, if the sentence is not
less than five years and less than ten years.
Ten days for each month, if the sentence is ten years
When two or more consecutive sentences are to be
served, the aggregate of the several sentences shall
be the basis upon which the deduction shall be
18 U.S.C. § 4161 (emphasis added). Furthermore, a prisoner may be awarded extra good time
for performing exceptionally meritorious service or performing duties of outstanding importance
in connection with institutional operations. See id. § 4162. This “industrial good time” is in
addition to the commutation of time for good conduct. See id.
Petitioner is not entitled to having good time credits apply to his sentence because he is
serving a life sentence. See Kinard v. O’Brien, No. 07-0601, 2008 WL 2095112, at *5 (W.D.
Va. May 16, 2008) (“Kinrard’s life sentence precludes him from receiving good time credits
pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 4161 or 4162.”); Escamilla v. Outlaw, No. 06-0081, 2008 WL 686707,
at *3 (E.D. Tex. Mar. 10, 2008) (“Because petitioner is serving a life sentence he is not entitled
to good conduct time credits pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 4161, 4162.”), aff’d by, 335 F. App’x 382
(5th Cir. 2009). As noted by respondent, the BOP’s computation printout of petitioner’s
sentence indicates good time credits in the event that petitioner’s sentence is reduced or
commuted to a more definite term. (See Dkt. No. 9-3 (“BOP Program Statement 5880.30
Chapter XIII”) at p. 12 (“An inmate serving a life sentence may earn extra good time even
though there is no mandatory release date from which to deduct the credit since the possibility
exists that the sentence may be reduced or commuted to a definite term.”).) However, as
petitioner’s sentence has remained a life sentence, the credits were properly not deducted from
the life sentence. Accordingly, petitioner’s argument that he is entitled to have his life sentence
reduced due to his good time credits is without merit.
Petitioner has also filed a motion to expedite. However, as petitioner fails to show that
good time credits should be deducted from his life sentence, the motion to expedite will be
For the foregoing reasons, petitioner’s motion to expedite and amended petition for writ
of habeas corpus will also be denied. An appropriate order will be entered.
DATED: February 2, 2015
s/Robert B. Kugler
ROBERT B. KUGLER
United States District Judge
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