Phil Cave notes an Army Times report about a Fourth Circuit decision holding that a military accused housed in the BOP as the result of a sex offense isn’t subject to civil commitment.

Here’s a link to the Fourth Circuit’s published decision in the case.  United States v. Joshua, __ F.3d ___, No. 10-6281 (4th Cir. June 14, 2010).  Judge Duncan wrote for a unanimous panel, affirming the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina’s ruling.

The Fourth Circuit concluded that as a contractual boarder, Joshua wasn’t “in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons” as that term is used in the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 4248(a).

The court noted that the statute’s term “custody” could refer to either physical or legal control. The court concluded that Congress intended the latter for purposes of the civil commitment statute. The court concluded that the Army, rather than the BOP, had ultimate legal control over Joshua. Accordingly, he was not “in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.”

3 Responses to “No civil commitment for Army officer confined by BOP as the result of a court-martial conviction”

  1. Billy says:

    The court says he was an officer who received a “dishonorable discharge”…..sigh.

  2. Phil Stackhouse says:

    My firm represents Mr. Joshua and my colleague Lisa Schertler both wrote the brief and argued the case at the 4th Circuit. She was awesome – even with my obvious bias.

    This case dovetails off the Comstock case the SCOTUS handed down May 17, 2010 ( – and will affect several servicemembers held by the BOP.

  3. Curious says:

    So I am curious should the courts somehow permit some future inmate serving a military sentence with BOP to face post conviction civil commitment. If that happens, will that require something else (in addition to sex offender registration, Padilla advice, and the plethora of post-trial and appellate rights) that defense counsel have to advise on before a GP? Or even in a contest?