United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
W. PHILLIPS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dwight Wade Seaton (“Seaton”) was convicted by a
jury of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Seaton
was sentenced to 108 months in prison, but the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals found that Seaton was an armed career
criminal and remanded for re-sentencing. United States
v. Seaton, 45 F.3d 108 (6th Cir. 1995). The Court
sentenced Petitioner to a term of 235 months'
imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.
That sentence was affirmed on appeal. Seaton filed a §
2255 motion, which was denied, and that denial was affirmed
on appeal. United States v. Seaton, No. 98-6076,
1999 WL 685 947 (6th Cir. Aug. 24, 1999).
began his three-year term of supervised released on June 30,
2010 [Doc. 57]. In October, 2012, the probation officer
petitioned the Court to revoke Petitioner's supervised
release. In February, 2013, the probation officer filed an
amended petition, stating that applicable guidelines range
for Petitioner's supervised-release violation as 51-60
months' imprisonment, with a five-year statutory maximum
[Doc. 58]. Seaton admitted the charged violations of
supervised release, and the Court sentenced him to 36
months' imprisonment with no further term of supervised
release [Doc. 70]. Seaton did not appeal.
2015, Seaton filed a § 2255 motion, claiming that his
three-year revocation sentence violated the
Constitution's Ex Post Facto Clause [Doc. 76].
Seaton argued that the maximum sentence authorized by the
1994 Guidelines Manual for his supervised-release violations
was two years. Seaton later filed a supplement to the motion,
wherein he requested a term of “one year or . . . at
least 17 months but not more than 27 months” [Doc. 78].
The Government responded in opposition [Doc. 81].
relief authorized by 28 U.S.C. § 2255 “does not
encompass all claimed errors in conviction and
sentencing.” United States v. Addonizio, 442
U.S. 178, 185 (1979). Rather, to obtain relief, a petitioner
must establish (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 proceedings invalid. Moss v. United States,
323 F.3d 445, 454 (6th Cir. 2003). He “must clear a
significantly higher hurdle than would exist on direct
appeal” and demonstrate a “fundamental defect in
the proceedings which necessarily results in a complete
miscarriage of justice or an egregious error violative of due
process.” Fair v. United States, 157 F.3d 427,
430 (6th Cir. 1998).
threshold matter, this claims is procedurally defaulted,
because Seaton did not raise it on appeal. A Petitioner who
raises a claim for the first time on collateral review must
show that (1) he had good cause for not raising it earlier
and would suffer “actual prejudice” if it were
not reviewed, or (2) he is actually innocent. Bousley v.
United States, 523 U.S. 614, 622 (1998). Seaton has not
even attempted to excuse his procedural default, so his claim
must be dismissed on that basis.
Seaton's claim requesting a reduced period of
incarceration is moot, because Seaton was released from
prison on May 10, 2017. He is not under supervision.
the Court agrees with the Government that a violation of
supervised release is a separate punishment that does not
implicate the Ex Post Facto Clause. United
States v. Bryant, 462 Fed.Appx. 589, 591 (6th Cir. 2012)
(also stating that, “in effect, a sentence for
violation of supervised release is a sentence for a new
offense”) (internal citations omitted). The Court finds
that the correct guidelines upon revoking supervised release
are the guidelines in effect at the time of the supervised
release violations, not at the time of the
underlying offense. United States v. Cofield, 223
F.3d 405, 409 (6th Cir. 2000) (“Cofield misunderstands
the critical timing at issue here. While the 1989 sentencing
guidelines were appropriate for his original sentencing
hearings, he violated his supervised release conditions in
1997 . . . [and] the correct guidelines for consideration of
these violations were the ones in effect in 1997”). The
Court agrees with the Government that the applicable maximum
for Seaton was a five-year term. Therefore, Seaton's
three-year sentence did not exceed it.
has not established any error in his revocation sentence.
Court finds that because all of the claims presented in the
Motion [Docs. 76, 78] lack merit, Petitioner is not entitled
to relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. A hearing is
unnecessary in this case. A judgment will enter
DENYING the Motion [Doc. 76].