KOSRAE STATE COURT TRIAL DIVISION
Cite as Kosrae v. Sigrah,
13 FSM Intrm. 190 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2005).

[13 FSM Intrm. 190]

STATE OF KOSRAE,

Plaintiff,

vs.

ERNEST T. SIGRAH,

Defendant.

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO MODIFY SENTENCING ORDER

Aliksa B. Aliksa

Associate Justice

Hearing: April 12, 2005

Decided: April 13, 2005

APPEARANCES:

For the Plaintiff:   Edwin Mike, trial counselor, State Prosecutor

                                 Office of the Kosrae Attorney General

                                 P.O. Box 870

                                 Lelu, Kosrae   FM   96944

For the Defendant:   Steven George, trial counselor

                                       Office of the Public Defender

                                       P.O. Box 245

                                       Lelu, Kosrae   FM   96944

[13 FSM Intrm. 191]

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HEADNOTE

Criminal Law and Procedure; Sentencing

     Work release is a grant of leniency and privilege granted to an imprisoned defendant at the courtís discretion. It is not an entitlement to a defendant. The court will not grant work release when, based upon the papers filed, arguments of counsel, the record, and in the interests of justice, the court concludes that modification of the defendantís sentence to allow work release is not warranted and the interests of justice will be best served by completion of the individualized sentence imposed upon him, including his imprisonment in jail without work release for his entire sentence, as specified in the sentencing order. Kosrae v. Sigrah, 13 FSM Intrm. 190, 192 (Kos. S. Ct. Tr. 2005).

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COURTíS OPINION

ALIKSA B. ALIKSA, Associate Justice:

     Defendant filed a Motion to Modify Sentencing Order to Allow Work Release on March 29, 2005. Plaintiff filed an Opposition on March 30, 2005. A hearing was held on April 12, 2005. Edwin Mike, State Prosecutor, appeared for the Plaintiff. Defendant was represented by Steven George, Public Defender.

     Defendant is currently serving a concurrent term of imprisonment imposed in Criminal Case Nos. 37-04 and 137-04. In Criminal Case No. 37-04, Defendant entered plea of guilty to one count of assault of battery. Defendant was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, all suspended, pursuant to the Sentencing Order entered on April 28, 2004. On about October 23, 2004, Defendant was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, assault and battery, reckless driving and driving under the influence. These charges were filed in the Information in this case, Crim. Case No. 137-04. Based upon the new charges against the Defendant, the State moved to revoke probation in Crim. Case. No. 37-04. The Motion to Revoke Probation was granted, and Defendant was remanded to Kosrae State Jail to serve out his remaining sentence. Defendant was also granted work release in Crim. Case. No. 37-04. The sentence of imprisonment and grant of work release expires on April 28, 2005.

     In this matter, the Defendant was sentenced to 24 months incarceration, with 12 months to be served imprisoned at the Kosrae State Jail and 12 months to be served suspended, pursuant to the Sentencing Order imposed on January 27, 2005. Defendantís term of imprisonment was to run concurrently with the sentence imposed in Crim. Case. No. 37-02. Therefore, Defendantís imprisonment at Kosrae State Jail for Crim. Case No. 137-04 will end on January 27, 2006.

     Defendant now seeks modification of the sentencing order entered in this case to allow for work release, effective April 28, 2005, when his work release granted in Crim. Case No. 37-04 terminates. Defendant seeks work release on the same terms and conditions as imposed in Crim. Case No. 37-04. The State opposes work release, arguing that the Court denied work release at the time of sentencing, and that no new evidence has been presented in support of the Motion. The State argues that the Defendant has failed to show that work release is necessary to meet financial obligations of his family or make repayment.

This court has carefully considered the Defendant's Motion, the State's Opposition, the record on this matter and in Crim. Case No. 37-04. The Court has carefully considered the factual basis for

[13 FSM Intrm. 192]

the Defendantís actions and his plea of guilty, and the factual basis for which probation was revoked and work release was granted to the Defendant in Crim. Case No. 37-04. This Court has also carefully considered the factual basis for the Defendantís actions and his pleas of guilty entered in this case. The sentencing order entered in this case was individualized, considered the Defendantís background, prior criminal record and potential, and the nature of the offense. The Court, in imposing its sentence in this case, intended that the sentence fit the offender as well as the offense.

     Work release is a grant of leniency and privilege granted to an imprisoned Defendant at the discretion of the Court. It is not an entitlement to a Defendant. Based upon the papers filed, arguments of counsel, the record in this matter, and in the interests of justice, this Court concludes that modification of the Defendantís sentence to allow work release is not warranted in this case. The interests of justice will be best served by completion of the individualized sentence imposed upon the Defendant, including his imprisonment at the Kosrae State Jail without work release for the entire term of his sentence of imprisonment, as specified in the Sentencing Order. Accordingly, Defendantís Motion to Modify Sentencing Order to Allow Work Release is denied.

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