Thursday, July 17, 2014

Walkaway from Halfway Is "Escape" from Federal Custody

U.S. v. Foster, 2014 WL 2748502 (6/18/14) (Col.) (Published) - The 10th holds Mr. Foster escaped from custody under 18 U.S.C. § 751(a), when he left a residential reentry center where he was ordered to reside as a supervised release condition. The 10th reversed the district court which dismissed the indictment on the grounds that it imposed the half-way house condition only to prevent a recently-released prisoner's homelessness. "Any" custody in § 751(a) is not restricted to punitive custody, the 10th says. The custody's purpose doesn't matter. And direct physical restraint is not required. Halfway house restrictions are sufficiently limiting to constitute custody. Mr. Foster had fair notice he would violate § 751(a) if he left the halfway house.