This week I had the opportunity to attend a lecture hosted by the Federal Public Defenders Office for the U.S District Court here in Nashville.First, I would like to thank the folks that presented and sponsored the topic.The lecture focused on the " Interaction of Federal and State Sentences When the Federal Defendant is Under State Primary Jurisdiction". The focus of the discussion was based upon an article written by Henry Sadowski,Regional Counsel Northwest Region,Federal Bureau of Prisons. A complete copy of the article can be read here.
Here are my takeaways from the talk;
1.In any computation of a federal sentence,two separate decisions must be made:when the federal sentence commences and to what extent the defendant can receive credit for time spent in custody prior to commencement of the sentence.
2.The Federal Bureau of Prisons has been delegated to compute the sentence.The court nor anyone else can compute the sentence.
3.A federal sentence does not begin to run until the state authorities relinquish the prisoner on satisfaction of the state obligations.
4.The general rule is no credit is afforded towards a federal sentence if credit has been given for the same period of custody towards a state sentence.
5.The general rule is that the sentence imposed by the sovereign with primary jurisdiction is served first.
6.The primary custodian is responsible for the custody of the defendant until primary jurisdiction is relinquished.
Why are these rules important to those charged in federal and state court.The common facts that I see are someone is on state probation . The defendant picks up new charges like a weapon charge.A defendant could then have his probation violated then has to flatten that sentence then serves the federal sentence.An attorney has to be careful in these concurrent state and federal cases.