Friday, January 20, 2012

SCOTUS GVR's Breland In Light of SG's Position That Tapia Applies Equally to Revocation of Supervised Release

You'll recall that the Supreme Court held in Tapia v. United States that a court may not impose or lengthen a term of imprisonment in order to promote a defendant's rehabilitation. You'll also recall that the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. Breland that Tapia's holding does not apply when imposing a sentence on revocation of supervised release. That set up a circuit split with the First and Ninth Circuits.

Turns out the Fives are going to get another crack at it. Earlier this week the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Breland, vacated the Fifth Circuit's judgment, and remanded the case "for further consideration in light of the position asserted by the Solicitor General in his brief for the United States filed on December 19, 2011." The SG's position?
Although Tapia concerned a term of imprisonment imposed on initial sentencing rather than on revocation of supervised release, the United States now agrees with petitioner that Section 3582 (a), as construed in Tapia, precludes a court from lengthening the time a defendant must serve in prison based on the defendant's rehabilitative needs when supervised release is revoked.
(I can't find a free copy of the SG's brief anywhere on the intertubes, but those of you with Westlaw access can find it at 2011 WL 7051682.)

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home