USvJohnson - UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ROY LEE JOHNSON...

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UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ROY LEE JOHNSON ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT [March 1, 2000] Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court. An offender had been serving time in federal prison for multiple felonies when two of his convictions were declared invalid. As a result, he had served too much prison time and was at once set free, but a term of supervised release was yet to be served on the remaining convictions. The question becomes whether the excess prison time should be credited to the supervised release term, reducing its length. Bound by the text of the controlling statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3624 (e), we hold that the supervised release term remains unaltered. Respondent Roy Lee Johnson was convicted in 1990 on two counts of possession with an intent to distribute controlled substances, 84 Stat. 1260, 21 U.S.C. § 841 (a), on two counts of use of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime, 18 U.S.C. § 924 (c) (1994 ed., and Supp. IV), and on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, §922(g). He received a sentence of 171 months’ imprisonment, consisting of three concurrent 51-month terms on the §841(a) and §922(g) counts, to be followed by two consecutive 60-month terms on the §924(c) counts. In addition, the District Court imposed a mandatory 3-year term of supervised release for the drug possession offenses. See 21 U.S.C. § 841 (b)(1)(C) (1994 ed., Supp. III). The Court of Appeals, though otherwise affirming respondent’s convictions and sentence, concluded the District Court erred in sentencing him to consecutive terms of imprisonment for the two §924(c) firearm offenses. United States v. Johnson , 25 F.3d 1335, 1337—1338 (CA6 1994) (en banc). On remand the District Court modified the prisoner’s sentence to a term of 111 months. After our decision in Bailey v. United States, 516 U.S. 137 (1995), respondent filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his §924(c) convictions, and the Government did not oppose. On May 2, 1996, the District Court vacated those convictions, modifying respondent’s sentence to 51 months. He had already served more than that amount of time, so the District Court ordered his immediate release. His term of supervised release then went into effect. This dispute concerns its length. In June 1996, respondent filed a motion requesting the District Court to reduce his supervised release term by 2.5 years, the extra time served on the vacated §924(c) convictions. The District Court denied relief, explaining that pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3624 (e) the supervised release commenced upon respondent’s actual release from incarceration, not before. Granting respondent credit, the court observed, would undermine Congress’ aim of using supervised release to assist convicted felons in their transitions to community life. A divided Court of Appeals reversed. 154 F.3d 569 (CA6 1998). The court accepted
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USvJohnson - UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ROY LEE JOHNSON...

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