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Articles about Wrongful Convictions

Federal Prisoner Must Exhaust BOP Remedies Before Seeking Habeas Corpus Relief

Federal prisoner Ivan Gonzalez was convicted of possession with intent to distribute three kilograms of cocaine. He was sentenced to five years of imprisonment. The U.S. Parole Commission calculated a presumptive parole date of May 30, 1990. When that date came and went the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) did not release Gonzalez, and he remained incarcerated. In February of 1991 Gonzalez filed for a writ of habeas corpus in federal court. He claimed that because his release date had passed he did not have to exhaust administrative remedies before seeking judicial relief. The district court denied the petition.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the writ. The appeals court held that while the courts have original jurisdiction in imposing sentences, the BOP is responsible for computing that sentence and applying the appropriate good time credits.

Because the BOP has established regulations that set forth procedures for prisoners to follow before seeking relief from a district court, the administrative remedies must be exhausted before a federal court has jurisdiction to hear a petition for writ of habeas corpus. See, Gonzalez v. United States , 959 F.2d 211 (11 Cir. 1992).