United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
FRANK M. MURRELL, Petitioner
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
A. TRAUGER U.S. District Judge
before the court is the Petitioner's Motion To Vacate,
Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence In Accordance With 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 (Docket No. 1).
Order entered February 7, 2017 (Docket No. 7), the court
granted the Government's request to hold this case in
abeyance pending the Supreme Court's decision in
Beckles v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2510 (2016) and
the Sixth Circuit's decision in United States v.
Stitt, 646 Fed. App'x 454 (6th Cir.
2016). The Supreme Court issued its decision in Beckles
v. United States, U.S., 137 S.Ct. 886, 891, 197 L.Ed.2d
145 (2017) on March 6, 2017. Given the Supreme Court's
holding in Beckles, the court finds it unnecessary
to await the Sixth Circuit's decision in
reasons set forth herein, the Motion To Vacate, Set Aside, Or
Correct Sentence In Accordance With 28 U.S.C. § 2255
(Docket No. 1) is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED.
Petitioner pled guilty before now-retired Judge William J.
Haynes, Jr. to drug trafficking, in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(a)(1), and unlawful possession of a firearm by a
convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
922(g)(1) and 924. (Docket Nos. 1, 32, 34 in Case No.
3:10cr00014). The Petitioner's guilty plea was not based
on a plea agreement between the parties. (Id.) At
the subsequent sentencing hearing, on September 9, 2011,
Judge Haynes imposed a total sentence of 120 months of
imprisonment. (Docket Nos. 35, 36, 37 in Case No.
3:10cr00014). The record reveals that no appeal was taken.
28 U.S.C. § 2255 The Petitioner has
brought this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
Section 2255 provides a statutory mechanism for challenging
the imposition of a federal sentence:
A prisoner in custody under sentence of a court established
by Act of Congress claiming the right to be released upon the
ground that the sentence was imposed in violation of the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or that the court
was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or that the
sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law, or
is otherwise subject to collateral attack, may move the court
which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or correct
U.S.C. § 2255(a). In order to obtain 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)).
factual dispute arises in a § 2255 proceeding, the court
is to hold an evidentiary hearing to resolve the dispute.
Ray v. United States, 721 F.3d 758, 761 (6th Cir.
2013). An evidentiary hearing is not required, however, if
the record conclusively shows that the petitioner is not
entitled to relief. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b); Ray,
721 F.3d at 761; Arredondo v. United States, 178
F.3d 778, 782 (6th Cir. 1999). A hearing is also
unnecessary “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.'”
reviewed the pleadings, briefs, and records filed in the
Petitioner's underlying criminal case, as well as the
filings in this case, the court finds it unnecessary to hold
an evidentiary hearing because the records conclusively
establish that the Petitioner is not entitled to relief on
the issues raised. B. Johnson v. United States The
Petitioner claims that his sentence should be vacated because
the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. United
States, U.S., 135 S.Ct. 2551, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015)
undermines the validity of Section 4B1.1 of the Sentencing
Guidelines, the career offender guideline, which was applied
to him at sentencing. In Johnson, the Supreme Court
held that the so-called “residual clause” of the
Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e), is unconstitutionally vague. The ACCA imposes
a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence for defendants convicted
of certain firearms offenses who have three ...