Rule 38. Staying a Sentence or a Disability
(a) Death Sentence. The court must stay a death sentence if the defendant appeals the conviction or sentence.
(1) Stay Granted. If the defendant is released pending appeal, the court must stay a sentence of imprisonment.
(2) Stay Denied; Place of Confinement. If the defendant is not released pending appeal, the court may recommend to the Attorney General that the defendant be confined near the place of the trial or appeal for a period reasonably necessary to permit the defendant to assist in preparing the appeal.
(c) Fine. If the defendant appeals, the district court, or the court of appeals under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8, may stay a sentence to pay a fine or a fine and costs. The court may stay the sentence on any terms considered appropriate and may require the defendant to:
(1) deposit all or part of the fine and costs into the district court's registry pending appeal;
(2) post a bond to pay the fine and costs; or
(3) submit to an examination concerning the defendant's assets and, if appropriate, order the defendant to refrain from dissipating assets.
(d) Probation. If the defendant appeals, the court may stay a sentence of probation. The court must set the terms of any stay.
(e) Restitution and Notice to Victims.
(1) In General. If the defendant appeals, the district court, or the court of appeals under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8, may stay—on any terms considered appropriate—any sentence providing for restitution under 18 U.S.C. §3556 or notice under 18 U.S.C. §3555.
(2) Ensuring Compliance. The court may issue any order reasonably necessary to ensure compliance with a restitution order or a notice order after disposition of an appeal, including:
(A) a restraining order;
(B) an injunction;
(C) an order requiring the defendant to deposit all or part of any monetary restitution into the district court's registry; or
(D) an order requiring the defendant to post a bond.
(f) Forfeiture. A stay of a forfeiture order is governed by Rule 32.2(d).
(g) Disability. If the defendant's conviction or sentence creates a civil or employment disability under federal law, the district court, or the court of appeals under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8, may stay the disability pending appeal on any terms considered appropriate. The court may issue any order reasonably necessary to protect the interest represented by the disability pending appeal, including a restraining order or an injunction.
(As amended Dec. 27, 1948, eff. Jan. 1, 1949; Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Apr. 24, 1972, eff. Oct. 1, 1972; Pub. L. 98–473, title II, §215(c), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2016; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 17, 2000, eff. Dec. 1, 2000; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002.)
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944
This rule substantially continues existing law except that it provides that in case an appeal is taken from a judgment imposing a sentence of imprisonment, a stay shall be granted only if the defendant so elects, or is admitted to bail. Under the present rule the sentence is automatically stayed unless the defendant elects to commence service of the sentence pending appeal. The new rule merely changes the burden of making the election. See Rule V of the Criminal Appeals Rules, 1933, 292 U.S. 661.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment
A defendant sentenced to a term of imprisonment is committed to the custody of the Attorney General who is empowered by statute to designate the place of his confinement. 18 U.S.C. §4082. The sentencing court has no authority to designate the place of imprisonment. See, e.g., Hogue v. United States, 287 F.2d 99 (5th Cir. 1961), cert. den., 368 U.S. 932 (1961).
When the place of imprisonment has been designated, and notwithstanding the pendency of an appeal, the defendant is usually transferred from the place of his temporary detention within the district of his conviction unless he has elected “not to commence service of the sentence.” This transfer can be avoided only if the defendant makes the election, a course sometimes advised by counsel who may deem it necessary to consult with the defendant from time to time before the appeal is finally perfected. However, the election deprives the defendant of a right to claim credit for the time spent in jail pending the disposition of the appeal because 18 U.S.C. §3568 provides that the sentence of imprisonment commences, to run only from “the date on which such person is received at the penitentiary, reformatory, or jail for service of said sentence.” See, e.g., Shelton v. United States, 234 F.2d 132 (5th Cir. 1956).
The amendment eliminates the procedure for election not to commence service of sentence. In lieu thereof it is provided that the court may recommend to the Attorney General that the defendant be retained at or transferred to a place of confinement near the place of trial or the place where the appeal is to be heard for the period reasonably necessary to permit the defendant to assist in the preparation of his appeal to the court of appeals. Under this procedure the defendant would no longer be required to serve dead time in a local jail in order to assist in preparation of his appeal.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1968 Amendment
Subdivisions (b) and (c) of this rule relate to appeals, the provisions of which are transferred to and covered by the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. See Advisory Committee Note under rule 37.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1972 Amendment
Rule 38(a)(2) is amended to reflect rule 9(b), Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. The criteria for the stay of a sentence of imprisonment pending disposition of an appeal are those specified in rule 9(c) which incorporates 18 U.S.C. §3148 by reference.
The last sentence of subdivision (a)(2) is retained although easy access to the defendant has become less important with the passage of the Criminal Justice Act which provides for compensation to the attorney to travel to the place at which the defendant is confined. Whether the court will recommend confinement near the place of trial or place where the appeal is to be heard will depend upon a balancing of convenience against the possible advantage of confinement at a more remote correctional institution where facilities and program may be more adequate.
The amendment to subdivision (a)(4) gives the court discretion in deciding whether to stay the order placing the defendant on probation. It also makes mandatory the fixing of conditions for the stay if a stay is granted. The court cannot release the defendant pending appeal without either placing him on probation or fixing the conditions for the stay under the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §3148.
Former rule 38(a)(4) makes mandatory a stay of an order placing the defendant on probation whenever an appeal is noted. The court may or may not impose conditions upon the stay. See rule 46, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; and the Bail Reform Act, 18 U.S.C. §3148.
Having the defendant on probation during the period of appeal may serve the objectives of both community protection and defendant rehabilitation. In current practice, the order of probation is sometimes stayed for an appeal period as long as two years. In a situation where the appeal is unsuccessful, the defendant must start under probation supervision after so long a time that the conditions of probation imposed at the time of initial sentencing may no longer appropriately relate either to the defendant's need for rehabilitation or to the community's need for protection. The purposes of probation are more likely to be served if the judge can exercise discretion, in appropriate cases, to require the defendant to be under probation during the period of appeal. The American Bar Association Project on Standards for Criminal Justice takes the position that prompt imposition of sentence aids in the rehabilitation of defendants, ABA Standards Relating to Pleas of Guilty §1.8(a)(i), Commentary p. 40 (Approved Draft, 1968). See also Sutherland and Cressey, Principles of Criminology 336 (1966).
Under 18 U.S.C. §3148 the court now has discretion to impose conditions of release which are necessary to protect the community against danger from the defendant. This is in contrast to release prior to conviction, where the only appropriate criterion is insuring the appearance of the defendant. 18 U.S.C. §3146. Because the court may impose conditions of release to insure community protection, it seems appropriate to enable the court to do so by ordering the defendant to submit to probation supervision during the period of appeal, thus giving the probation service responsibility for supervision.
A major difference between probation and release under 18 U.S.C. §3148 exists if the defendant violates the conditions imposed upon his release. In the event that release is under 18 U.S.C. §3148, the violation of the condition may result in his being placed in custody pending the decision on appeal. If the appeal were unsuccessful, the order placing him on probation presumably would become effective at that time, and he would then be released under probation supervision. If the defendant were placed on probation, his violation of a condition could result in the imposition of a jail or prison sentence. If the appeal were unsuccessful, the jail or prison sentence would continue to be served.
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment
The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.
Committee Notes on Rules—2000 Amendment
The rule is amended to reflect the creation of new Rule 32.2 which now governs criminal forfeiture procedures.
GAP Report—Rule 38. The Committee made no changes to the published draft.
Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment
The language of Rule 38 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.
The reference to Appellate Rule 9(b) is deleted. The Committee believed that the reference was unnecessary and its deletion was not intended to be substantive in nature.
References in Text
The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, referred to in subds. (c), (e)(1), and (g), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Amendment by Public Law
1984 —Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(1), substituted “Stay of Execution” for “Stay of Execution, and Relief Pending Review” in rule catchline.
Subd. (a). Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(1), struck out subd. heading “(a) Stay of Execution”.
Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(3), (4), redesignated subd. (a)(1) as (a), and inserted “from the conviction or sentence” after “is taken”.
Subd. (b). Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(3), (5), redesignated subd. (a)(2) as (b), and inserted “from the conviction or sentence” after “is taken”.
Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(2), struck out subd. (b) relating to bail, which had been abrogated Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968.
Subd. (c). Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(3), redesignated subd. (a)(3) as (c).
Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(2), struck out subd. (c) relating to application for relief pending review, which had been abrogated Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968.
Subd. (d). Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(3), (6), redesignated subd. (a)(4) as (d) and amended it generally. Prior to amendment, subd. (a)(4) read as follows: “An order placing the defendant on probation may be stayed if an appeal is taken. If not stayed, the court shall specify when the term of probation shall commence. If the order is stayed the court shall fix the terms of the stay.”
Subds. (e), (f). Pub. L. 98–473, §215(c)(7), added subds. (e) and (f).
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 98–473 effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of such amendment, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3551 of this title.