Jersey. Accordingly, this Court lacks the authority to decide
Notably however, the language courts use to describe the forum
in which a section 2441 petition should be filed is not
mandatory. Indeed, had Maldonado filed his petition in the
District of New Jersey that court may have found that this
Court, where petitioner was tried and sentenced and where his
section 2255 petition was decided, is in the better position to
determine whether the BOP properly decided Maldonado's request
for a compassionate release.
If this Court had jurisdiction to decide Maldonado's section
2241 petition, the Court would not alter the BOP's
interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A). That statute
provides that the Director of the Bureau of Prisons may move a
court to reduce a term of imprisonment if it finds
"extraordinary and compelling reasons warrant such a reduction."
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Where, as here, "Congress has
enacted a law that does not answer `the precise question at
issue,' all we must decide is whether the Bureau . . . has
filled the statutory gap `in a way that is reasonable in light
of the legislature's revealed design." Lopez v. Davis,
531 U.S. 230, 121 S.Ct. 714, 722-23, 148 L.Ed.2d 635 (2001) (quoting
NationsBank of N.C., N.A. v. Variable Annuity Life Ins. Co.,
513 U.S. 251, 257, 115 S.Ct. 810, 130 L.Ed.2d 740 (1995) (citing
Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 467 U.S. 837,
844, 104 S.Ct. 2778, 81 L.Ed.2d 694 (1984))). In the Court's
opinion, the BOP's interpretation of "extraordinary and
compelling reasons" is reasonable.
In the BOP's final decision on Maldonado's application for a
compassionate release, the BOP stated that its Program Statement
5050.46 "indicates that a compassionate release is recommended
at the discretion of the Warden when there are particularly
`extraordinary or compelling' circumstances present. The Bureau
generally interprets the language `extraordinary and compelling'
in the text of § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) to apply only to those
circumstances where the inmate is diagnosed with a serious
medical condition. Ordinarily, the condition must be terminal,
with a determinable life expectancy" (Government's Exhibit 11).
The Court finds that this interpretation of "extraordinary and
compelling" is reasonable, because it limits the number of
people eligible for compassionate release to those cases that
are truly extraordinary and that may be decided on an objective
basis. Moreover, the BOP's interpretation is still broad enough
for it to apply to the rare defendant whose circumstances do not
match the BOP's traditional definition of "extraordinary and
compelling," but whom the BOP nonetheless determines is
deserving of a compassionate release. In this case, the BOP
reasonably found that Maldonado did not fall into that latter
category given the seriousness of the crimes of which he was
In sum, the Court commends the petitioner's efforts to change
his life, assist other inmates, and contribute to the community
surrounding the prison. In particular, the Court notes the
petitioner's work restoring discarded bicycles; distributing
those bicycles to needy children; and creating a facility in
which he and other inmates can perform this work. However, the
petitioner has failed to state a cause of action under
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). Furthermore, even if the Court had the
authority to decide the petitioner's section 2441 claim, it
would find that the BOP's interpretation of
18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i) was reasonable as it applied to Maldonado.
Having reviewed the submissions of the parties, it is hereby
ORDERED, that the petitioner's "Petition for Resentencing
Pursuant to This Court's Authority Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241,
28 C.F.R. § 571.60 and 18 U.S.C. § 3852(c)(1)(A)" is DENIED.
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