Thursday, June 21, 2007
In a unanimous, en banc decision issued today, the Sixth Circuit held that district courts may not order tolling of a term of supervised release. See United States v. Ossa-Gallegos, Case No. 05-5824. This issue frequently arose in cases involving non-citizen defendants expected to be deported after completing their terms of imprisonment. Many times the district court would include a special condition of supervised release, providing that supervision would not commence until the defendant lawfully returned to the United States (and not many defendants could ever expect to return legally). As a result, defendants who did find their way back to the US often were subject to both a new illegal reentry charge AND a violation of supervised release, even if the defendant did not return until years later. Kudos to attorneys Ron Small and Jennifer Coffin, both attorneys at the FPD in Nashville, who argued and briefed the case.