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Federal Supervised Release Begins on Day of Release From Imprisonment

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that a defendant's period
of supervised release begins on the day the defendant is released from
imprisonment. The defendant in this case was released to a Pennsylvania
halfway house and later paroled from his five-year sentence in 1995. His
parole expired in 2000, and the Probation Department then said the
defendant's five year period of supervised release began at that point.
In late 2001, the defendant was charged with violation of his supervised
release. The district court revoked the supervised release and imposed
three months home of detention and one year supervised release. The
defendant appealed.

The Third Circuit found that 18 U.S.C. §3624(e) provides, inter alia,
the term of supervised release commences on the day the person is
released from imprisonment." The Court said this requires a holding that
the defendant's supervised release began the day he was released from the
halfway house rather than his release from parole supervision.
Accordingly, the district court's order was reversed. See: Unites States
v. Cook, 329 F.3d 335 (3rd Cir. 2003).

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Related legal case

United States v. Cook

United States v. Cook, 329 F.3d 335 (3d Cir. 05/19/2003)

[1] U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

[2] No. 02-2313

[3] 329 F.3d 335, 2003

[4] May 19, 2003


[6] On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Criminal No. 88-cr-00223-1) District Judge: Honorable Lowell A. Reed, Jr.

[7] David L. McColgin, Esq. Defender Association of Philadelphia Federal Court Division Curtis Center Independence Square West Suite 540 West Philadelphia, PA 19106 Counsel for Appellant

[8] Pamela Foa, Esq. Office of United States Attorney Suite 1250 615 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19106 Counsel for Appellee

[9] Before: Becker, Chief Judge,*fn1 Barry, and BRIGHT,*fn2 Circuit Judges.

[10] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bright, Circuit Judge.


[12] Submitted under Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) April 8, 2003


[14] Scott Cook pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841, use of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 924(c), and possession of a destructive device, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d). On November 7, 1988, the District Court sentenced Cook to a total of fifteen years imprisonment, consisting of a term of five years imprisonment on each count to run consecutively. Cook also received a five-year period of supervised release.

[15] Cook's imprisonment ran from July 7, 1988 until August 18, 1994, when he was released to a halfway house. Cook obtained release from the halfway house on February 14, 1995, and was placed on parole. The U.S. Parole Commission terminated Cook's parole on July 22, 2000. That same month, according to the Probation Department, Cook's five-year period of supervised release began.

[16] In December 2001, Cook's probation officer charged him with violating his supervised release based on conduct occurring during the summer and fall of 2001. At a violation hearing on February 25, 2002, the District Court rejected Cook's argument that under the terms of 18 U.S.C. § 3624(e) his five-year supervised release period should have commenced on February 14, 1995, the day he was released from prison. *fn3 The Court then found that Cook violated his supervised release, revoked the release, and sentenced Cook to one year of supervised release, with a condition of three months home confinement with release for work and drug rehabilitation at an outpatient clinic.

[17] Cook appeals the District Court's decision. We reverse and remand with instructions to vacate the District Court's order revoking Cook's supervised release and to dismiss the revocation petition with prejudice.


[19] This case presents what is called a "window case." Cook's offense occurred after the effective date of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 ("ADAA"), 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C), which mandates supervised release for drug trafficking offenses, and before the effective date of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 ("SRA"), 18 U.S.C. § 3551 et seq., which abolished probation and imposed a system of supervised release for all federal crimes. Scott Cook's offense concluded on March 6, 1987. The ADAA went into effect on October 27, 1986, and the SRA went into effect on November 1, 1987.

[20] Cook pled guilty on September 26, 1988. As noted, Cook obtained release on August 18, 1994 from prison to a halfway house, and then was paroled from February 14, 1995 through July 22, 2000. The Probation Department and the government calculated that Cook's term of five years supervised release began on July 22, 2000, *fn4 the date on which he completed his parole.

[21] On September 27, 2000, Cook filed a motion to vacate or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Cook argued that his five-year period of supervised release should have begun to run from the date of his release from the halfway house on February 14, 1995, and ended in the year 2000 prior to his alleged violation of supervised release. He filed essentially the same motion again on November 21, 2000. The District Court denied both motions. Cook did not appeal these decisions.

[22] On December 5, 2001, Cook's probation officer filed a notice of supervised release violations from the summer and fall of 2001. After a hearing on February 25, 2001, the District Court revoked supervised release and sentenced Cook to one year supervised release with a condition of three months home confinement.


[24] In this appeal, Cook challenges the District Court's jurisdiction to revoke his supervised release. Whether the District Court had jurisdiction turns on our resolution of when Cook's term of supervised release began.