United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER DENYING § 2255 MOTION, DENYING CERTIFICATE
OF APPEALABILITY, AND DENYING LEAVE TO APPEAL IN FORMA
DANIEL BREEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
2016, Petitioner, Terry Copeland, filed a pro se
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence under 28
U.S.C. § 2255 (“Petition”). (Docket Entry
(“D.E.”) 1.) For the reasons that follow, the
Petition is DENIED.
January 2012, a federal grand jury returned an indictment
with three counts against Copeland, charging him with various
controlled substance offenses in violation of 21 U.S.C.
§§ 841(a)(1), 846, and 18 U.S.C. § 2. (Case
Number (“No.”) 1:12-cr-10008-JDB-1, D.E. 4 at
PageID 9-12.) He subsequently entered a plea of guilty to
Counts 1, 2, and 4. (Id., D.E. 64.)
inmate was determined to be subject to an enhanced sentence
as a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the United States
Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”), based on
Tennessee convictions for armed robbery and aggravated
assault. (Presentence Report ¶¶ 32, 36, 38.) The
Court sentenced him to 125 months' imprisonment and three
years of supervised release. (No. 12-cr-10008, D.E. 104 at
PageID 203-04; id., D.E. 102.)
Petition, Copeland seeks relief pursuant to Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). (D.E. 1 at PageID
prisoner seeking to vacate his sentence under § 2255
“must allege either: ‘(1) an error of
constitutional magnitude; (2) a sentence imposed outside the
statutory limits; or (3) an error of fact or law that was so
fundamental as to render the entire proceeding
invalid.'” Short v. United States, 471
F.3d 686, 691 (6th Cir. 2006) (quoting Mallett v. United
States, 334 F.3d 491, 496-97 (6th Cir. 2003)).
challenges his sentence based on the Supreme Court's
ruling in Johnson that the residual clause of the
Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(e), is unconstitutionally void for vagueness.
See Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2557. He argues that
Johnson renders unconstitutional his designation as
a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the Guidelines.
argument fails. On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court refused
to extend Johnson's reasoning to the
Guidelines' career offender provisions. See Beckles
v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886, 892 (2017). The Court
explained that, “[u]nlike the ACCA, . . . the advisory
Guidelines do not fix the permissible range of
sentences.” Id. “[T]he Guidelines,
” therefore, “are not subject to a vagueness
challenge under the Due Process Clause.” Id.
Petition is DENIED.
§ 2255 petitioner may not proceed on appeal unless a
district or circuit judge issues a certificate of
appealability (“COA”). 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(1); Fed. R. App. P. 22(b)(1). A COA may issue only if
the petitioner has made a substantial showing of the denial
of a constitutional right. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2)-(3). A
substantial showing is made when the petitioner demonstrates
that “reasonable jurists could debate whether (or, for
that matter, agree that) the petition should have been
resolved in a different manner or that the issues presented
were ‘adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed
further.'” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S.
322, 336 (2003) (quoting Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S.
473, 484 (2000)). “If the petition was denied on
procedural grounds, the petitioner must show, ‘at
least, that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether
the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a
constitutional right and that jurists of reason would find it
debatable whether the district court was correct in its
procedural ruling.'” Dufresne v. Palmer,
876 F.3d 248, 253 (6th Cir. 2017) (quoting Slack,
529 U.S. at 484).
case, reasonable jurists would not debate the correctness of
the Court's decision to deny the Petition. Because any
appeal by Petitioner does not deserve ...