The Eastern District Courthouse in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn
The Eastern District Courthouse in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)

A federal judge concluded Tuesday that a man who has spent approximately 19 years of a 58-year sentence in prison for multiple armed carjackings had paid his debt to society and resentenced him to time served.

Eastern District John Gleeson (See Profile) said that the case of Francois Holloway, 57, highlighted the harshness of mandatory sentencing statutes and praised the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office for modifying the conviction.

Holloway thanked Gleeson and prosecutors for “allowing me another opportunity at life.”

The outcome, said Gleeson, was “not a matter of grace. It is an effort on our part to what we’re here to do: administer justice.”

“Make it count,” Gleeson urged Holloway, with several of the defendant’s family members watching. Gleeson imposed five years supervised release and 100 hours of community service, saying Holloway would be “a credit” to his community.

Though the proceedings concluded Holloway’s incarceration in U.S. v. Holloway, 95-cr-78, he will be taken into state custody to complete an outstanding sentence on a state offense. Holloway could be eligible for parole in nine months said his attorney, Harlan Protass, a partner at Clayman & Rosenberg,

Holloway was convicted after for three carjackings and three breaches of 18 U.S.C. 924(C), a statute imposing stiff penalties for firearm use in violent crimes.

In 1996, Gleeson sentenced Holloway to more than 12 years for the carjackings but was mandated to sentence him to another 45 years on the §924(c) convictions.

Earlier this month, prosecutors agreed to the vacatur of two §924(C) convictions because of Holloway’s “extraordinary” behavior in prison and the shared view of victims that he deserved a second chance after a lengthy sentence.

Last week, Gleeson released a memorandum that “applaud[ed] the admirable use of prosecutorial power in this case.” (NYLJ, July 29). Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Nitze appeared for the prosecution.