Echard v. Holland

In Echard v. Holland, 177 W. Va. 138, 351 S.E.2d 51 (1986), the defendant was sentenced in Ritchie County to a term of five to eighteen years. He was also sentenced in Wood County to a term of five to twenty-three years. The Wood County sentence was ordered to run consecutively with the Ritchie County sentence. The defendant eventually filed a habeas corpus petition in circuit court challenging how good time credit was awarded him while in prison. The defendant alleged that his minimum discharge date had been incorrectly calculated because good time credit was improperly being distributed between his consecutive sentences. The circuit court disagreed and dismissed the petition. The defendant appealed. While the particular issue in Echard involved how good time credit was awarded, to resolve the issue of defendant's minimum discharge date, the Echard Court had to first determine the amount of credit earned by the defendant for time served prior to imposition of his two sentences. After determining the amount of credit for time served by the defendant prior to imposition of his two sentences, as well as the total amount of possible good time, the Court established the following formula for determining how credit was to be distributed when consecutive sentences are imposed: The maximum terms of the consecutive sentences, determinate or indeterminate, must first be added together to determine the inmate's maximum discharge date. It is from this maximum discharge date that all presentence and good time deductions must be made in order to establish the inmate's minimum discharge date. (Echard, 177 W. Va. at 143, 351 S.E.2d at 56-57.)