Barber v. Thomas

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Association of Federal Defenders, the Federal and Public Community Defenders in the United States, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Law Deans and Faculty in support of petitioners.

Brief filed: 01/21/2010


Barber v. Thomas

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 09-5201


The text of 18 U.S.C. § 3624(B)(1) unambiguously requires that good time credits (GTCs) to be awarded for each year of the sentence imposed, not the time served; if the statute is ambiguous, the rule of lenity requires that the statute be construed in petitioners’ favor and precludes deference to the Bureau of Prisons’ interpretation. Moreover, correctly calculating the GTCs will conserve federal resources and reduce prison overcrowding.

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Jeffrey T. Green, Sidley Austin LLC, Washington, DC, et al.See also NACDL’s Good Time Credit page and Stephen R. Sady’s 2002 Champion articleMisinterpretation of the Federal Good Time Statute Costs Prisoners Seven Days Every Year.