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United States v. Longerbeam

United States District Court, District of Columbia

July 26, 2016



          Thomas F. Hogan Senior United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is defendant Kenneth Longerbeam's Renewed Motion for Termination of Supervised Release [ECF No. 22]. On February 20, 2008, defendant pled guilty to one count of interstate travel to engage in prohibited sexual conduct. On May 22, 2008, the Court sentenced defendant to 36 months of imprisonment, with a recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons that defendant be placed in the 500 hour substance abuse treatment program, followed by 10 years of supervised release, which included terms requiring defendant to, inter alia, register with the state sex offender registry in the state where defendant resides or works, work regularly at a lawful occupation, and participate in sex offender treatment. By Order of August 4, 2015, the Court denied defendant's previous motion for termination of supervised release and granted defendant leave to re-file within one year. In his renewed motion, defendant requests that the Court terminate his supervised release because "[h]e has complied with all conditions of his sentence and has successfully been on supervised release for nearly six years." Mot. at 2. The government has filed an opposition [ECF No. 23]. Additionally, the U.S. Probation Office has filed a response recommending that the Court deny defendant's second motion for early termination [ECF No. 24]. Upon consideration of defendant's motion, the government's opposition, the Probation Office's response, and the entire record herein, the motion will be denied.

         Motions to terminate a defendant's term of supervised release are governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1), which provides that

[t]he court may, after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a)(1), (a)(2)(B), (a)(2)(C), (a)(2)(D), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(6), and (a)(7)[, ] terminate a term of supervised release and discharge the defendant released at any time after the expiration of one year of supervised release, pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure relating to the modification of probation, 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); see United Stales v. Mathis-Gardner, 783 F.3d 1286, 1288 (D.C. Cir. 2015) (concluding that "a district court must consider the specified § 3553(a) factors before denying a motion for early termination of supervised release").[1] While section 3583(e)(1) does not specify when early termination is "warranted by the conduct of the defendant released, " the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has acknowledged that, per the Second Circuit's decision in United States v. Lussier, 104 F.3d 32, 32 (2d Cir. 1996), "'[occasionally, changed circumstances-for instance, exceptionally good behavior by the defendant or a downward turn in the defendant's ability to pay a fine or restitution imposed as conditions of release-will render a previously imposed term or condition of release either too harsh or inappropriately tailored to serve the general punishment goals of section 3553(a)[, ]'" such that a defendant may be entitled to termination of supervised release under § 3583(e)(1). Mathis-Gardner, 783 F.3d at 1289-90. However, as the undersigned explained in United States v. Etheridge, 999 F.Supp.2d 192 (D.D.C. 2013):

[D]istrict courts applying Lussier to § 3583(e)(1) petitions have found that even perfect compliance with conditions of release does not qualify as "exceptionally good behavior" warranting early termination. These courts have noted that "[m]odel prison conduct and full compliance with the terms of supervised release is what is expected of a person under the magnifying glass of supervised release and does not warrant early termination." United States v. McKay, 352 F.Supp.2d 359, 361 (E.D.N.Y. 2005). In United States v. Medina, the court found that though defendant's "post-incarceration conduct is apparently unblemished, this alone cannot be sufficient reason to terminate the supervised release since, if it were, the exception would swallow the rule." 17 F.Supp.2d 245, 247 (S.D.N.Y. 1998). Therefore, a defendant must show something "of an unusual or extraordinary nature" in addition to full compliance. United States v. Caruso, 241 F.Supp.2d 466, 469 (D.N.J. 2003).

999 F.Supp.2d at 196.

         Here, in support of his motion, defendant emphasizes that he has, for approximately six years, complied with the terms of his supervised release, including by completing sex offender therapy, complying with sex offender registration requirements in the state of Maryland where he works and lives, and maintaining stable employment and financial independence. Mot. 1-2. Defendant also notes that he has attended bi-weekly Alcohol and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and completed the "AA/NA twelve steps, " has been in a stable personal relationship for more than four years, and plans to get married in July 2016. Mot. 2.

         The Court notes that when it sentenced defendant it weighed the specified § 3553(a) factors pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 49-50 (2007) (noting that "the district judge should . . . consider all of the § 3553(a) factors to determine whether they support the sentence"). The Court has weighed these factors again in light of defendant's above-noted conduct. However, while the Court commends defendant for his law-abiding conduct and personal successes, such activities are expected of a person on supervised release and do not amount to "exceptionally good behavior" or "something of an unusual or extraordinary nature in addition to full compliance." See Mathis-Gardner and Etheridge, both supra. In sum, the Court concludes that "the conduct of the defendant released and the interest of justice" do not warrant termination of defendant's supervised release. 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(1).

         Accordingly, defendant's Renewed Motion for Termination of Supervised Release [ECF No. 22] will be denied. An appropriate order will accompany this opinion.



[1] The specified § 3553(a) factors are:

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the ...

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