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Barber v. Thomas

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: January 21, 2010

What's at Stake

Whether the Bureau of Prisoners is improperly denying federal prisoners good time credits, and thus prolonging the prison sentences, by misinterpreting the relevant congressional statute.


By law, federal prisoners are entitled to 54 days of good time credit for each year of their imposed sentence. The Bureau of Prisons has adopted a strained interpretation of that provision that reduces that amount of good time credit to 47 days per year. The ACLU amicus brief argues that the government’s interpretation is illogical and inconsistent with congressional intent.

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