Good Time Credit Should Be Deducted From the Two-Year Sentence Cap Imposed Under Penal Law 70.30 (2) (b), Not from the Longer Aggregate Term to Which the Two-Year Statutory Cap Was Applied
In a full-fledged opinion by Judge Abdus-Salaam, the Court of Appeals determined that where aggregate one-year consecutive sentences are capped at 2 years pursuant to Penal Law section 70.30 (2) (b), jail time and good time credits should be applied to the two-year period, not the longer aggregate term on which the two-year cap was imposed:
Having determined that Penal Law § 70.30 (2) (b) imposes a two-year aggregate term of imprisonment, we turn to whether this two-year aggregate term may be reduced by jail time and good time credit a prisoner has earned while incarcerated. Penal Law § 70.30 (3) (b) and (4) (b) provide that, where a prisoner is serving consecutive definite sentences, jail time and good time credit must be applied against the prisoner’s aggregate term of imprisonment (see Penal Law § 70.30  [b];  [b] [emphasis added]), although good time credit may not exceed one third of that aggregate term (see id. at  [b]; Correction Law § 804 ).
Considering these directives together with section 70.30 (2) (b), it follows that, in cases where the two-year limit on consecutive definite sentences applies, jail time and good time credit must be applied against the two-year aggregate term rather than the aggregate term imposed by the sentencing court. Under such circumstances, correctional authorities should calculate the time to be served under the sentences by reducing the two-year aggregate term by the available jail time credit and any good time credit that does not exceed 243 days (or one-third of the two-year aggregate term) (see Penal Law § 70.30  [b];  [b]). People ex rel Ryan… v Cheverko…, 183, CtApp 11-21-13