United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PRE-SENTENCE
RELEASE WITH CONDITIONS (ECF #67)
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN DISTRICT JUDGE
September 27, 2016, Defendant Eric Junod
(“Junod”) pleaded guilty to online enticement and
coercion of a minor child, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
2422(b). (See Rule 11 Plea Agreement, ECF #64 at 1,
Pg. ID 764.) Junod has been detained since his initial
appearance on August 18, 2015, and he is scheduled to be
sentenced on January 24, 2017. (See ECF ## 7, 65.)
On October 15, 2016, Junod filed a motion seeking
pre-sentence release subject to conditions imposed by the
Court (the “Motion for Pre-Sentence Release”).
(See ECF #67.) Junod explains that such release will
allow him to take care of his personal affairs, such as
selling his house and possessions, and allow him to spend
time with his parents. (Id. at 1-2, Pg. ID 792-93.)
Junod also contends that his “release will give his
parents the chance to prepare him to make the most out of his
time in BOP custody, ” and he insists that
“depriving [him] of this opportunity would exact
unusual hardships on him and harm the interests of the
community in successful rehabilitation.” (Reply, ECF
#69 at 3, Pg. ID 809.) The Government responded to the Motion
for Pre-Sentence Release on October 24, 2016. (See
ECF #68.) The Government argues that the motion must be
denied because pre-sentence detention is required under 18
U.S.C. § 3143(a)(2) (“Section 3143(a)(2)”).
Government is correct that Section 3143(a)(2), standing
alone, requires the Court to continue Junod's
detention, but the government is incorrect when it
suggests that the Court's analysis must end with Section
3143(a)(2). As explained further below, the Court may also
consider whether to release Junod under a separate statute,
18 U.S.C. § 3145(c) (“Section
3145(c)”). The Court has undertaken that analysis and
concludes that Junod is not entitled to release pending
Section 3143(a)(2), a judicial officer “shall”
order pre-sentence detention unless:
(A) (i) the judicial officer finds there is a substantial
likelihood that a motion for acquittal or new trial will be
(ii) an attorney for the Government has recommended that no
sentence of imprisonment be imposed on the person; and
(B) the judicial officer finds by clear and convincing
evidence that the person is not likely to flee or pose a
danger to any other person or the community.
Id. Under this statute, a court must order
pre-sentence detention unless the conditions set forth in
both subparagraphs (A) and (B) are satisfied.
Junod cannot satisfy either condition listed in subparagraph
(A). First, there is no substantial likelihood that the Court
will grant a motion for acquittal or new trial because Junod
has pleaded guilty to his offense. Second, the government has
not recommended, and cannot recommend, a sentence without a
term of imprisonment because 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b)
mandates a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years
imprisonment. Because Junod cannot satisfy subparagraph (A),
Section 3143(a)(2) requires the Court to detain him.
Court's analysis does not end with Section 3143(a)(2).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has
held that even where Section 3143(a)(2) would otherwise
require detention, a “district court has authority to
release a defendant . . . upon a showing of
‘exceptional reasons' under Section 3145(c).”
United States v. Christman, 596 F.3d 870, 870-71
(6th Cir. 2010). While a district court may have
“broad discretion” in assessing whether
“exceptional reasons” exist, United States v.
Garcia, 340 F.3d 1013, 1018 (9th Cir. 2003),
that discretion is guided by the “general agree[ment
among courts] that the term ‘exceptional reasons'
is limited to situations which are out of the ordinary,
uncommon, or rare.” U.S. v. Miller, 568
F.Supp.2d 764, 774-75 (E.D. Ky. 2008) (internal quotations
marks omitted) (collecting cases).
circumstances are not exceptional. Many defendants, like
Junod, who have been convicted of serious crimes face painful
separation from family members, a difficult transition to
long-term custody, and an inability to manage their personal
affairs. Courts have declined to find the exceptional
circumstances standard satisfied under these circumstances.
See, e.g., United States v. Cook, 42
Fed.Appx. 803, 804 (6th Cir. 2002) (upholding the district
court's conclusion that cooperation with the government
and family hardship were not exceptional reasons warranting
release); United States v. Smiley, 2014 WL 823401,
at *3 (E.D. Mich. March 3, 2014) (refusing to find
exceptional reasons where defendant sought release to take
care of personal matters and undergo dental procedure
scheduled before his arrest). Moreover, Junod's
circumstances are unlike those that courts have deemed
exceptional. See, e.g., United States v.
Goss, 2015 WL 914708, at *1-3 (E.D. Tenn. March 3, 2015)
(finding exceptional reasons under Section 3145(c) where
defendant was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and had a life
expectancy of three months or less); United States v.
Williams, 903 F.Supp.2d 292, 293 (M.D. Pa. 2012)
(finding exceptional reasons under Section 3145(c) where
defendant's family would have become homeless if
defendant was unable to work during wife's six week
recovery from surgery to repair umbilical hernia).
directs the Court's attention to United States v.
Charger, 918 F.Supp. 301 (D.S.D. 2004), a decision in
which a district judge found exceptional reasons warranting
pre-sentence release. (See ECF #69 at 2-3, Pg. ID
808-809.) The Court does not find Charger persuasive
here for two reasons. First, Charger is
distinguishable. The court stressed that there was a
“very” real possibility that it would depart
downward from the sentencing guidelines, and the prospect of
such a departure influenced the court's assessment of
whether extraordinary reasons existed. Id. at 303.
The opposite is true here. Junod faces a lengthy mandatory
custodial sentence. Likewise, the criminal conduct in
Charger was a “single act out of all character
for him, ” and the defendant in Charger had
“never been and [was] not now a danger to society, to
the victim or to anyone.” Id. at 302. The same
is not true here. Second, the Eighth Circuit later
“disagreed” with the analysis in
Charger, see United States v. Brown, 368
F.3d 992, 993 (8th Cir. 2004), and district courts
have declined to follow Charger on the ground that
it has been “abrogated” and/or
“rejected” by the Eighth Circuit. See, e.g.,
United States v. Roos, 2013 WL 3005631 at *6 (E.D. Ky.
2013); United States v. Posada, 109 F.Supp.2d 911,
914 (W.D. Tex. 2015).
the Court is sympathetic to Junod's desire to spend time
with his elderly parents and to get his affairs in order
before sentencing, his situation is not “out of the
ordinary, uncommon or rare.” Miller, 568
F.Supp.2d at 774-75. Accordingly, the Court concludes that
Junod has not shown the “exceptional reasons”
necessary for release under Section 3145(c).
for the reasons set forth above, IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED the Motion for ...