D.N.J. Discusses Split Re Whether a District Court Can Order a Federal Sentence to Run Consecutively to a State Sentence Not Yet Imposed

Per Palacio v. Nash, Slip Copy, 2006 WL 1128711 (D.N.J. April 25, 2006):

In United States v. Randolph, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit noted the split between the circuits as to whether a district court can order a federal sentence to run consecutively to a state sentence not yet imposed. 80 Fed. Appx. 190, 2003 WL 22596104 (3d Cir. Oct. 20, 2003). The Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits have held that the district court may not order a federal sentence to run consecutively to a future state sentence, while the Fifth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have held that a district court may so order consecutive sentences. See Randolph, 80 Fed. Appx. at 193-94 (citations omitted). The Third Circuit found that the last sentence of § 3584(a) requires that sentences be served consecutively if the federal court does not address the issue, “as they unquestionably [are] multiple terms of imprisonment imposed at different times····” See id. at 195. The court held that a petitioner “in Randolph's position must serve his state and federal terms of imprisonment consecutively unless he can convince the Bureau of Prisons to designate the state prison as ‘the official detention facility at which the sentence is to be served.” ’ Id. at 196 (citing 18 U.S.C. § 3585(a); 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b); FN4 Barden, 921 F.2d at 481-84) (other citation omitted).


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