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Crowell v. United States

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

January 25, 2018

DEQUAN E. CROWELL, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM

          ALETA A. TRAUGER, U.S. District Judge

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the court are the Petitioner's pro se Motion Under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 To Vacate, Set Aside, Or Correct Sentence (Docket No. 1); a Notice Of Intent To Rely On Pro Se Motion (Docket No. 14), filed by counsel for the Petitioner; and the Government's Response (Docket No. 20). For the reasons set forth herein, the Petitioner's Motion To Vacate (Docket No. 1) is DENIED, and this action is DISMISSED.

         II. Procedural Background

         The Petitioner pled guilty on July 11, 2011, before now-retired Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924. (Docket Nos. 23, 30 in No. 3:11cr00001). Through the Plea Agreement, the Petitioner acknowledged that he qualified for a 15-year mandatory minimum statutory sentence as an Armed Career Criminal, and that he had the following prior Tennessee convictions: two counts of aggravated assault in 2008; aggravated assault in 2004; and evading arrest in a motor vehicle in 2005. (Docket No. 30, at 7, 11, in No. 3:11cr00001). The parties estimated the Petitioner's guideline range to be 188 to 235 months of imprisonment, and agreed to a sentence of 180 months. (Id., at 13).

         At the subsequent sentencing hearing, on September 19, 2011, Judge Haynes imposed the 180-month agreed sentence. (Docket Nos. 29, 31, 32 in No. 3:11cr00001). The record reveals 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 evidentiary hearing because the records conclusively establish that the Petitioner is not entitled to relief on the issues raised.

         B. Johnson ...


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