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Brown v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

November 17, 2016

DAVID JAMAL BROWN
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

          MEMORANDUM

          TODD J. CAMPBELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the Court are the Petitioner's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Docket No. 1); a Supplemental Brief (Docket No. 17), filed by counsel for the Petitioner; and the Government's Response (Docket No. 20) in opposition.

         For the reasons set forth herein, the Petitioner's Motion (Docket No. 1) is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED.

         II. Procedural and Factual Background

         In the underlying criminal case, the Petitioner pled guilty, pursuant to a Plea Agreement, to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, and to distribution or possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base. (Docket Nos. 9, 29, 30 in Case No. 3:15-00012). Through the Plea Agreement, the Petitioner acknowledged his status as a Career Offender, pursuant to Sentencing Guideline § 4B1.1, and acknowledged that he had two prior felony drug offenses. (Docket No. 30 in Case No. 3:15-00012). The parties agreed to a total sentence of 154 months of imprisonment. (Id.)

         At the subsequent sentencing hearing, the Court determined that the Petitioner was a Career Offender with an applicable guideline sentencing range of 188 to 235 months of imprisonment, but imposed the agreed-upon sentence of 154 months. (Docket Nos. 32, 33, 24 in Case No. 3:15-00012).

         III. Analysis

         A. The Section 2255 Remedy

         Section 2255 provides federal prisoners with a statutory mechanism by which to seek to have their sentence vacated, set aside or corrected.[1] The statute does not provide a remedy, however, for every error that may have been made in the proceedings leading to conviction. “‘To warrant relief under section 2255, a petitioner must demonstrate the existence of an error of constitutional magnitude which had a substantial and injurious effect or influence on the guilty plea or the jury's verdict.'” Humphress v. United States, 398 F.3d 855, 858 (6th Cir. 2005)(quoting Griffin v. United States, 330 F.3d 733, 736 (6th Cir. 2003)).

         An evidentiary hearing is not required if the record conclusively shows that the Petitioner is not entitled to relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b); Ray v. United States, 721 F.3d 758, 761 (6th Cir. 2013); Arredondo v. United States, 178 F.3d 778, 782 (6th Cir. 1999). No hearing is required “if the petitioner's allegations ‘cannot be accepted as true because they are contradicted by the record, inherently incredible, or conclusions rather than statements of fact.'” Id. Where the same judge considering the Section 2255 motion also presided over the underlying criminal proceedings, the judge may rely on his own recollection of those proceedings. Blackledge v. Allison, 431 U.S. 63, 97 S.Ct. 1621, 1629 n.4, 52 L.Ed.2d 136 (1977); Ray, 721 F.3d at 761.

         The Court has reviewed the pleadings, briefs, and records filed in Petitioner's underlying criminal case, as well as the pleadings and briefs filed by the parties in this case. The Court finds it unnecessary to hold an evidentiary hearing because these records conclusively establish that Petitioner is not entitled to relief on the issues raised.

         B. Johnson v. United States

         The Petitioner requests that the Court apply the decision in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) to reduce his sentence.[2] The Government argues that the Petitioner has waived the ability to raise ...


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