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Good Time in Federal Prison

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The case of Barber v. Thomas, No. 09-5201, taken up by the Supreme Court today, has to do with the computation of good time credits for federal prisoners. The District Court opinion in a companion case, Tablada, is here. The Ninth Circuit opinion affirming in that case is here. The Ninth's order in the present cases, Barber and Jihad-Black, is summary without opinion, based on Tablada. Tablada's certiorari petition is still pending in case 08-11034. SCOTUSblog has the certiorari petition in Barber here and the brief in opposition here. Doug Berman has this post at SL&P.

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My name is Scott Holland, a jailhouse lawyer and non-violent marijuana offender who "first" uncovered the "good time" issue in 1996. Talk about intellectual dishonesty, professional ethics, and hiding the complete factual history from the Supreme Court to make it appear an issue is your own... have you seen my name getting credit for discovering this after 9 years of failure to do so by anyone in the arrogant, overpaid “criminal defense industry” (CDI)?... didn't think so. I handed it off to fellow prisoners because of my release by the time admin remedies were exhausted to Peter Goldberger & Steve Sady, both of whom I spoke to back then and recently.

From a defendant's side, the entire CDI "missed" this issue for their clients for 9 years before I brought it to their attention... after all the money sucked out of defendants during that time, to have missed such a fundamental math error they would never have missed if they were in prison (well, maybe that is giving them too much credit) is deplorable, not something to hand out awards over.

It gets worse. The real how/why/motive for the BOP’s 22 pages of complex math IS NOT because they believed "term of imprisonment" meant time physically served. It is because "old law" the BOP was instructed by statute (4161) to make "reductions/deductions" in sentences, thus making them shorter. "New law" (3624b) calls for them to do the OPPOSITE, "credit towards." So, they continued in spite of the opposite language, yielding extra prisoner days for unauthorized budget increases, forcing a round peg into a square hole – not an easy task – as evidenced by the 22 pages of complex math.

Why has litigation failed for 13 years? You know attorneys never take advice very well from non-attorneys, and want credit for everything regardless of the true author. Well, because of that mindset, they have chased a fairy tale invented by the BOP about the meaning of term of imprisonment meant to cover up the real reason (did a pretty good job of fooling the entire CDI for 23 years and counting!).

Do I admire the “tenacity” of Steve Sady for pursuing this for so long. Yes, his tenacity, but that is about it. That said, the case before the S.Ct. is being presented with an materially incomplete factual history, and I believe is and has been pursuing a "red herring" put out by the BOP.

Think the following math is a coincident? If so, you must be a lawyer. This from an e-mail to the U.S. Supreme Court on February 23, 2010:

e. The reason the BOP came up with 22 pages of complex math for a scheme Congress unequivocally meant to be simple for laypersons to understand… 85% of your sentence is the minimum time served assuming all good time… is “under pre-USSG law” with parole, the statutes instructed the BOP to “reduce” the sentence with good time awarded.

f. The problem is the USSG 3624 law called explicitly for “crediting toward” a sentence starting at the end of the first year.

g. So, whoever was in charge at the BOP simply continued the “reduction” method pre-USSG because it was “familiar,” which results in the BOP de facto “altering/reducing” the sentence imposed (as they were instructed to do pre-USSG), which ‘reduced” the length of a USSG “sentence upon which good time could be awarded.” THE FOLLOWING MATH COMBINED WITH THE HOW/WHY CONFIRMS THIS:

5 YEAR SENTENCE - Showing BOP error in GTC computation by continuing to “reduce” sentences instead of “crediting” them as to GTC awarded:

a. YEAR ONE: At the end of year one of day for day physical imprisonment, the BOP reduces the "sentence imposed by the court" by 54 days (as they "were" authorized by law to do pre-USSG). According to the BOP, your sentence is now "only" 4 years 311 days.

b. YEAR TWO: One more year of day for day physical imprisonment, the BOP reduces the "sentence imposed by the court" by 54 days (as they "were" authorized by law to do pre-USSG). According to the BOP, your sentence has now been "reduced" (impermissibly under USSG GTC law that says to "credit towards," not reduce) to 4 years 257 days.

c. YEAR THREE: One more year of day for day physical imprisonment, the BOP reduces the "sentence imposed by the court" by 54 days (as they "were" authorized by law to do pre-USSG). According to the BOP, your sentence has now been "reduced" (impermissibly under USSG GTC law that says to "credit towards," not reduce) to 4 years 203 days.

d. YEAR FOUR: One more year of day for day physical imprisonment, the BOP reduces the "sentence imposed by the court" by 54 days (as they "were" authorized by law to do pre-USSG). According to the BOP, your sentence has now been "reduced" (impermissibly under USSG GTC law that says to "credit towards," not reduce) to 4 years 149 days.

e. YEAR FIVE: According to the BOP your sentence has now been "reduced" (impermissibly under USSG GTC law that says to "credit towards," not reduce) to 4 years 149 days. You have "served" 4 years, the BOP has "reduced" (rather than "credited") your sentence by the GTC earned, and hey... YOU ONLY HAVE 149 DAYS "LEFT" ON YOUR SENTENCE TO GET 54 DAYS PRO RATA... SO, THE BOP SAYS THAT IS 54/365 = X/149 = (149 X 54)/365 = 22 DAYS MAXIMUM POSSIBLE GTC FOR YEAR FIVE (well, there is no full year five left… only 149 days of it).

f. Surprise, surprise…

g. A five year sentence has 5 x 365 + 1 (leap year) days = 1826

h. Subtract 22 days from 4 years and 149 days, and a prisoner will physically serve 4 years and 127 days…

i. BOP has a prisoner serve 4 x 365 + 127 = 1587

j. 1592 is 87% of 1826

(NOTE: the BOP uses the 22 pages of complex math for this final, now partial year left that starts out with a comical guessing game (really), which is why these numbers differ slightly from theirs… I did not feel the need to make anyone suffer through that, as if without a PhD in Math it is understandable anyway).


Climb down from your ivory towers, spend just the 7 days at issue in prison, and stop patting yourselves on the back... the criminal defense "industry" has done a horrifying job in the past 23 years on every level, especially this good time issue. 13 years of failed litigation on this simple math issue after missing it for 9 years... yeah, my heroes. In any rational world they all would have been fired upon the initial discovery by a layperson.

Now let’s look at the chorine gas mask industry’s (whoops, I mean “criminal defense industry”) CDI’s role in overseeing the buildup of the world’s largest police/prison state in history. What is the CDI’s “M.O?” Get a scared person most likely the victim of a political witch hunt, evaluate their net worth and income, rape them for all the riches you can (I am surprised any gold fillings are left afterwards) while sympathizing with their plight, then after the easy money is gotten and speaking to the attorney is difficult/hostile, suddenly you should “plead guilty” and “rat on everyone.” So what effect does this have?

The CDI’s M.O. feeds the industry, and in concert with their alumni/fellow professionals (persecutors)… wow, the results are awesome… for them. You think this prison/police industry could grow like it has if the CDI actually stood up against abhorrent laws & penalties – rather than fleecing citizens and creating a nation of rats with an over 95% conviction rate in federal court? It actually took the last people victims/defendants would think of to stop some of it… federal judges like Nancy Gertner who said, “NO MORE” to the USSGs that turned junior prosecutors into angry, selfish gods who force everyone to feed their careers, their industry… true justice be damned. But man those USSGs were good for business and the CDI.

Over half in federal prison are there for a political witch hunt after non-violent drug offenders, which now that their alumni in the banking world has looted and bankrupted this nation, they have the balls to go after the marijuana money after persecuting an entire nice generation for 50 years. The CDI agrees with this while sticking their hand in your pocket to profit as much as possible. What country is this again?

Thinking it is illegal to use recreational drugs is looking at it the wrong way (pure sophistry)… if this were about “harmful drugs” alcohol would top the list, followed by tobacco.

The truth is the same violent white men who made it “legal” to own slaves, “legal” that women could not vote, legal to spend most of your tax dollars on weapons of mass destruction peddled globally (with outrageous profits going to a select, trusted few… yeah, trusted to keep the scam going)… made it “legal” to hunt down, persecute, and imprison nice Americans they call “hippies” who they did not like or want to advance.

Did I miss the outraged CDI staging a strike over a wildly unconstitutional, politically oppressive witch hunt? Oh, they were too busy defending us against the law with procedure designed and controlled by evil ones… while one side seized assets for redistribution to their own, and the CDI fleeced victims for all they could of what was left.

The reality is these evil men deliberately, methodically created a “class of people,” then hunted and imprisoned them for the past 50 years in a manner so unconstitutional it defies belief. This class of people’s assets were taken and distributed throughout the “criminal law industry” (CLI), which I equate to the chlorine gas industry in WWII. I.e., prosecutors sell chlorine gas, the defense lawyers sell chlorine gas masks (that they know have a 95%+ failure rate) while assisting prosecutors in turning them into “rats” to identify new victims they can gas & sell gas masks to.

My favorite part is the “chlorine gas salespersons” (prosecutors) who after zealously pursuing maximum sentences using coerced testimony from rats, converting any assets to their side, then seeing “gas mask salesperson” getting a greater personal share of the riches… decide to sell “gas masks” instead of the “gas,” and brag about it when soliciting new victims (I mean clients).

Under their theory of government, the “hippies” could come into power, have the DEA make alcohol illegal as a drug with no medicinal value and the greatest source of actual violence, costs to society, and health issues… thus then pass laws making it legal to making hunting, persecuting, and imprisoning all these booze drinkers on Wall Street and elsewhere, who promote alcohol as a youthful aphrodisiac to minors and young adults, including every college campus, not to mention people storing/abusing alcohol at home in plain site and access of their children and their friends on play dates… while saying what is really going on is “this new class of people” are breaking the law, what they are doing is illegal.

You tell me how it is different?

Want to stop this whole corrupt criminal law industry overnight (includes both chlorine gas and gas mask salespersons)? Refuse to hire an attorney, refuse to plead guilty, refuse to rat on friends, family, and loved ones… and insist on a trial.

Now, if you see a “real crime” being forced upon someone, by all means help stop it and call the police. This is the real function of the police.

And the lowly police are victims too. Instead of being “allowed” to be noble, helpful members of their communities (serve and protect), they are pawns used for this politically oppressive witch hunt turning them against friends and neighbors (for a fraction of the pay the gas and gas mask salespersons insist they deserve) for what they know in their heart is no worse, and typically far less damaging than alcohol sold at every possible outlet and college event.

Local law enforcement should insist on being paid decent salaries without having to hunt down decent citizens for an immoral, unconstitutional War On Drugs (war on liberals from the 60s, who now have been labeled by the millions as ex-felons, drug dealers with many rights stripped, advancement in careers stopped, government jobs unavailable… i.e., murder the competition for the conservatives offspring).

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