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United States v. Billingsley

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 15, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHARLES JAMES BILLINGSLEY, JR., Defendant.

          ORDER

         On August 23, 2016, Charles Billingsley, proceeding pro se, moved to terminate his supervised release, which began on November 11, 2014. Mot., ECF No. 82. The United States opposed the motion. Opp'n, ECF No. 84. The court held a hearing on December 21, 2016, at which Billingsley appeared pro se and Richard Bender appeared for the United States. The court GRANTED the motion from the bench at hearing. The following order explains the reasons for the court's ruling.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Billingsley pled guilty on September 11, 2003, to one count of Possession of a Firearm During a Trafficking Offense, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924, and one count of Possession of Equipment Used to Manufacture a Controlled Substance, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(a)(6). ECF No. 41. The court sentenced Billingsley on December 23, 2003, to a term of 180 months of imprisonment followed by 60 months of supervised release. Id. The court also imposed a $200 special assessment and further recommended Billingsley participate in the 500Hour Bureau of Prisons Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RDAP). Id. at 2, 5.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e), the court may terminate a term of supervised release after the expiration of one year of supervised release if it is “satisfied that such action is warranted by the conduct of the defendant released and the interest of justice.” 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1). “[T]he language of § 3583(e) gives district courts broad discretion in determining whether to grant a motion to terminate supervised release.” United States v. Emmett, 749 F.3d 817, 819 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing United States v. Weber, 451 F.3d 552, 557 (9th Cir. 2006)). “The expansive phrases ‘conduct of the defendant' and ‘interest of justice' make clear that a district court enjoys discretion to consider a wide range of circumstances when determining whether to grant early termination.” Emmett, 749 F.3d at 819. Nonetheless, “[a] district court's duty to explain its sentencing decisions must also extend to requests for early termination of supervised release.” Id. It is the defendant's burden to demonstrate termination of supervised release is justified. Weber, 451 F.3d at 559 n.9 (citing United States v. Weintraub, 371 F.Supp.2d 164, 167 (D. Conn. 2005); United States v. McKay, 352 F.Supp.2d 359, 361 (E.D.N.Y. 2005)).

         In determining whether termination is warranted, the statute directs the court to consider several factors relevant to sentencing under 18 U.S.C. § 3553:

1.) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1);
2.) the need for the sentence imposed--to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct . . ., 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(B);
3.) the need for the sentence imposed to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(C);
4.) the need for the sentence imposed and to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(D);
5.) the kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for . . . the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines . . . in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced . . ., 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(4);
6.) any pertinent policy statement . . . issued by the Sentencing Commission . . . in effect on the date the defendant is sentenced, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(5);
7.) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(6); and
8.) the need to provide restitution to any victims of the offense, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(7); 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e). In deciding whether to terminate a term of supervised ...

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