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Weaver v. United States

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

September 12, 2017

DONALD RAY WEAVER, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          ALETA A. TRAUGER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the court is the Petitioner's pro se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence. (Docket Nos. 1, 2); a Supplemental Brief (Docket No. 9), filed by counsel for the Petitioner; and the Government's Response (Docket No. 19).

         By Order entered November 4, 2016 (Docket No. 14), the court granted the Government's request to hold this case in abeyance pending the Sixth Circuit's decision in United States v. Stitt, 646 Fed.App'x 454 (6th Cir. 2016). An en banc panel of the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in United States v. Stitt, 860 F.3d 854 (6th Cir. 2017) on June 27, 2017. Thus, the Petitioner's claims are ripe for decision.

         For the reasons set forth herein, the Petitioner's Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence. (Docket Nos. 1, 2) is GRANTED. The Petitioner will be re-sentenced by separate order in Criminal Case No. 3:12-cr-00172.

         II. Procedural Background

         The Petitioner pled guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924. (Docket Nos. 35, 36 in Case No. 3:12cr00172). The Petitioner's guilty plea was not the result of a plea agreement. At the subsequent sentencing hearing, on November 10, 2014, the court determined that the Petitioner qualified as an Armed Career Criminal and sentenced him to 180 months of imprisonment. (Docket Nos. 58, 60, 61 in Case No. 3:12cr00172). The record indicates that no appeal was taken.

         III. Analysis

         A. 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 the sentence.

28 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)).

         If a 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.'” Id.

         Having 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 ...


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