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Decided: May 25, 2016

The Fourth Circuit affirmed in part, vacated and remanded in part the district court’s decision.

Mangum was arrested in Oklahoma on drug charges on February 9, 2006, and released on bond five days later. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in North Carolina for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, and a federal arrest warrant was issued by not executed. On June 14, 2006, Mangum was arrested a second time in Oklahoma, this time charged with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanors of possession of a fictitious driver’s license, resisting an officer, and obstructing an officer. Mangum was transferred to federal custody and appeared in the Middle District of North Carolina, where he pled guilty on November 8, 2006, to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base. On May 16, 2007, Mangum was sentenced to 262 months’ imprisonment without specifying whether this federal sentence was to be served concurrently or consecutively to his pending Oklahoma sentence. On December 5, 2007, a state judge sentenced Mangum to four terms of imprisonment, ten, seven, one, and one, and ordered these sentences to run concurrently with each other and his federal sentence. Mangum remained in custody of Oklahoma while serving his state sentences, and he was paroled to federal detainer on January 13, 2011, when, according to the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”), service of his federal sentence commenced. On January 3, 2013, Mangum requested the BOP analyze whether to designate, nunc pro tunc, the Oklahoma prison as the place of service for Mangum’s federal sentence pursuant to 18. U.S.C. § 3621. During this analysis, the North Carolina federal district court judge never responded to the BOP’s inquiry as to whether the court intended that the federal sentence run concurrent or consecutive to the later imposed Oklahoma sentence. Ultimately, the BOP determined that the federal sentence would be served consecutively to the later imposed state sentence. Mangum, acting pro se, filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Eastern District of North Carolina, however the district court granted summary judgment on December 29, 2014, to the warden of the BOP facility where Mangum is serving his sentence. As a result, Mangum filed a timely notice of appeal on January 27, 2015.

As to Mangum’s claims relating to the calculation and execution of his sentence, the Fourth Circuit found that the district court properly denied relief and affirmed the judgment. However, the Fourth Circuit found that the BOP incorrectly applied 18 U.S.C. § 3584(a) in its refusal to grant Mangum nunc pro tunc relief. According to the BOP, where the federal sentencing judge is silent as to the court’s intention, a presumption exists that the federal sentence should be deemed to run consecutively to the later imposed state sentence. Instead, following the Supreme Court’s analysis in Setser v. United States, the Fourth Circuit agreed with Mangum’s assertion that the federal judge’s silence does not invoke a statutory presumption that the federal sentence is intended to be a consecutive sentence. Additionally, the Fourth Circuit points out that at the time Mangum was sentenced in the North Carolina federal court, the federal sentencing judge lacked the power to impose a federal sentence consecutive to a not yet imposed state sentence.

Accordingly, the Fourth Circuit affirmed in the judgment in party, vacated in part, and remanded the petition to the district court, instructing the court remand Mangum’s request for a nunc pro tunc designation to the BOP for further consideration.

Full Opinion

Charlotte Harrell