United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
D. DICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUGDE.
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Reduction of
Sentence Pursuant to the Holloway Doctrine by Defendant,
Ronrico Terrell, Sr. (“Defendant”). The
Government has filed an Opposition to this motion.
For the following reasons, the motion shall be denied.
October 2, 2014, Defendant was charged in a Superceding
Indictment with Count One, conspiracy to distribute
and possess with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of
cocaine base and 500 grams or more of cocaine; Counts Two,
Three, and Four, distribution of cocaine; Counts Five,
unlawful use of a communications facility; Count Six,
possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of
cocaine base and cocaine; and Count Seven, possession of a
firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. On
March 19, 2015, Defendant pled guilty to Counts One and Seven
pursuant to a written Plea Agreement. On August 6,
2015, the Defendant was sentenced to 60 months on Count One,
and 60 months on Count Seven, to be served consecutively, for
a total of 120 months.
been incarcerated for approximately three years, Defendant
now moves this Court for a sentence reduction pursuant to the
so-called “Holloway doctrine.”
LAW AND ANALYSIS
“Holloway doctrine” derives its name
from the case of United States v.
Holloway decided by the district court for the
Eastern District of New York. In Holloway, a
district judge encouraged the United States Attorney's
Office to agree to vacate two or more of a defendant's
lawfully-obtained convictions, even though “all appeals
and collateral attacks ha[d] been exhausted and there [was]
neither a claim of innocence nor any defect in the conviction
or sentence, ” because the judge believed that the
defendant's sentence of nearly 58 years was
excessive. Importantly, the United States agreed to
vacate two of his convictions and only then did the court
reduce the defendant's sentence. The Holloway
court did not claim any broad inherent or residual power to
reduce sentences. Indeed, to the contrary, the court
“recogniz[ed] that there were ... no legal avenues or
bases for vacating” the defendant's
judgment. The sentence reduction in
Holloway depended entirely on the United States'
acquiescence. As the court observed, the use of the
Government's “power to walk into courtrooms and ask
judges to remedy injustices” “poses no threat to
the rule of finality” because “the authority
exercised in this case will be used only as often as the
Department of Justice itself chooses to exercise it, which
will no doubt be sparingly.” The
“Holloway Doctrine” described above has
no application whatsoever to this Defendant's case
because the United States opposes any reduction of
Defendant's term of imprisonment.
as the district court for the Northern District of Texas
succinctly stated in Setser v. United States:
[I]nsofar as Petitioner suggests that the “Holloway
doctrine” grants courts broad residual power to reduce
a sentence, neither the United States Supreme Court nor the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit have
ascribed to such a conclusion. To be sure, neither has even
addressed the Holloway doctrine. Moreover, in
Holloway, the government cautioned that its position
should not “be interpreted as reflecting a broader view
of Section 924(c) generally or its application to other
cases.” Holloway, 68 F.Supp.3d at 315. Thus,
as stated previously, Holloway is neither binding
nor persuasive, or for that matter, particularly instructive.
Certainly, it was not intended to be doctrinal.
Court agrees with the analysis of the Setser court
with respect to the so-called “Holloway
Doctrine.” Defendant's motion is DENIED.
has likewise failed to identify any statutory authority for a
sentence reduction, and this Court lacks jurisdiction to
modify Defendant's sentence under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c), which provides that a final sentence may only be
modified in three ways: (1) upon motion of the Director of
the Bureau of Prisons; (2) pursuant to a Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 35(b) motion by the Government; and (3)
pursuant to a sentencing range lowered by the United States
Sentencing Commission under 28 U.S.C. § 994(o). Federal
Rule of Criminal Procedure 35(a) also permits a court to
correct a sentence resulting from an arithmetical, technical,
or other clear error within 14 days of sentencing. Clearly,
none of the criteria for modifying a sentence are met here;
indeed, they are not even argued.
reasons set forth above, Defendant's Motion for
Reduction of Sentence Pursuant to the Holloway
Doctrine is DENIED.