United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR TERMINATION
OF SUPERVISED RELEASE
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Lashon Barnum's motion
for termination of his supervised release (Dkt. No. 39).
Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and
the relevant record, the Court DENIES the motion for the
reasons explained herein.
Barnum was arrested May 2014 and charged with promoting
prostitution in the second degree. (Dkt. No. 40 at 4.) He
pled guilty. (Id.) In February 2015, the Court
sentenced Mr. Barnum to an 18 month imprisonment, with credit
given for the 9 months of time already served, to be followed
by 3 years of supervised release. (Dkt. No. 33.) His
supervised released began September 2, 2015. (Dkt. No. 39 at
his release, Mr. Barnum has had two violation reports. First,
in July 2016, the Probation Department notified the Court
that Mr. Barnum admitted, following a positive urinalysis, to
using cocaine and marijuana with associates during a social
gathering at his residence. (Dkt. No. 36.) In response, the
Probation Department increased the frequency of his
urinalysis testing, but recommended no further action in
light of his stable housing and employment. (Id.)
Second, in July 2017, the Probation Department notified the
Court that Mr. Barnum had again admitted to smoking
marijuana, following a positive urinalysis. (Dkt. No. 37.)
This time he claimed this was an effort to self-medicate pain
brought on from a long workday. (Id.) In response,
the Probation Department again increased the frequency of Mr.
Barnum's urinalysis testing, but again recommended no
further action in light of his stable housing and employment.
Barnum asks the Court to terminate his supervised release
eleven months early. (Dkt. No. 39.) He provides letters of
support from his employers and former Seattle Mayor McGinn,
as well as examples of out-of-state employment opportunities.
(Dkt. No. 39-1.) Mr. Barnum asserts termination of his
supervised release is necessary to allow him to travel in
order to advance as a chef. (Id. at 3.) He concedes
that the “supervising probation officer has indicated
[remote] courtesy supervision could potentially be
arranged” but asserts that “this seems
impractical for many of Mr. Barnum's potential
[employment] opportunities (e.g. international positions,
positions as a travelling private chef on cruises, and
positions in remote locations).” (Id. at 3.)
crime for which the Court sentenced Mr. Barnum, promoting
prostitution, involved the following conduct: he convinced a
female victim to travel to Seattle from Canada to work for
him as a prostitute, and he paid her airfare. (Dkt. No. 40 at
2.) When Mr. Barnum feared she was considering working for
someone else, he told her that if she did, she would
“end up in a trunk.” (Id. at 3.) She
fled and called 911. (Id.) At the time, Mr. Barnum
was already on supervised release. (Id. at 1.) He
previously conspired to distribute cocaine in Alaska.
(Id. at 1.) He has two additional prior convictions
involving narcotics, and one each involving a firearm and
larceny. (Id.) The Probation Office opposes the
motion due to the violent nature of Mr. Barnum's crime
and his violent criminal history. (Id. at 4.) The
Government also opposes this motion. (Id. at 9.)
Court must consider several factors in its evaluation of
early termination, including the nature and circumstances of
the offense, the history and characteristics of the
defendant, the need to deter criminal conduct, the need to
protect the public from further crimes, and the need to avoid
disparity. 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e). As the Second Circuit
has articulated, early termination of supervised release
should be granted only “[o]ccasionally” when
“changed circumstances-for instance, exceptionally good
behavior by the defendant or a downward turn in the
defendant's ability to pay a fine or restitution imposed
as conditions of release-will render a previously imposed
term or condition of release either too harsh or
inappropriately tailored to serve the general punishment
goals of section 3553(a).” United States v.
Lussier, 104 F.3d 32, 36 (2d Cir. 1997); see also
United States v. Miller, 205 F.3d 1098, 1101 (9th Cir.
Court concludes early termination of Mr. Barnum's
supervised release is not appropriate under the
circumstances. Mr. Barnum has violated the conditions of his
current supervised release on two occasions, the second of
which within the last few months. Moreover, Mr. Barnum has
not shown a change in circumstances that renders his
previously imposed term of supervised release too harsh.
While he demonstrates that occupational opportunities exist
for him outside of Washington, he fails to show that he lacks
comparable opportunities locally. Nor does Mr. Barnum show,
even if this were the case, how a courtesy supervision could
not be accomplished in many of the instances proposed.
of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors and the interests of
justice do not support Mr. Barnum's request for early
termination of his supervised release.
foregoing reasons, Mr. Barnum's motion for termination of