United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
WILLIAM L. CAMPBELL, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are Petitioner's Motion to Vacate, Set
Aside or Correct Sentence in Accordance With 28 U.S.C. §
2255 (Doc. No. 1); Petitioner's supplemental briefs (Doc.
Nos. 12, 13, 16, 19, 23), and the Government's Responses
(Doc. Nos. 8, 14, 21). For the reasons set forth below,
Petitioner's Motion (Doc. No. 1) is
DENIED, and this action is
Petitioner's Criminal Proceedings
pled guilty on August 8, 2007, before former Judge Robert L.
Echols, to unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted
felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Â§§ 922(g)(1) and 924.
(Doc. Nos. 1, 27, 28, 38 in No. 3:07cr00008). The guilty plea
was not the result of a plea agreement between the parties.
In the Presentence Investigation Report, the Probation Office
determined Petitioner qualified for a 15-year mandatory
minimum sentence as an Armed Career Criminal based on the
following prior convictions: second-degree burglary of a
dwelling in Williamson County, Tennessee in 1989; aggravated
assault with a firearm in Davidson County, Tennessee in 1993;
and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute cocaine in federal district court for the Middle
District of Tennessee in 1997. (Doc. No. 37 ¶ 18 in No.
3:07cr00008). At the subsequent sentencing hearing, on
December 10, 2007, Judge Echols agreed that Petitioner was an
Armed Career Criminal and his sentencing guideline range was
180 to 188 months. (Doc. Nos. 33, 34, 35, 39 in No.
3:07cr00008). Judge Echols sentenced Petitioner to the
mandatory minimum 15-year (180-month) sentence.
(Id.) On appeal, the Sixth Circuit affirmed. (Doc.
No. 40 in No. 3:07cr00008).
Section 2255 Proceedings
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
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)).
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.'” Monea v. United
States, 914 F.3d 414, 422 (6th Cir. 2019) (quoting
Valentine v. United States, 488 F.3d 325, 333
(6th Cir. 2007)).
reviewed the record in 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 Petitioner is not entitled to
relief on the issues raised.
Petitioner's Johnson Claim
argues his sentence should be vacated based on the Supreme
Court's decision in Johnson v. United States,
__U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551, 192 L.Ed.2d 569 (2015). In
Johnson, the Supreme Court held the so-called
“residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal
Act (“ACCA”), 18 U.S.C. § 924(e), to be
unconstitutionally vague. The ACCA imposes a 15-year
mandatory minimum sentence for defendants convicted of
certain firearms offenses who have three previous convictions
for a “violent felony” or a “serious drug
offense.” 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1). The
“residual clause” is part of the italicized
definition of “violent felony” as set forth
(2) As used in this subsection-
(B) the term “violent felony” means any crime
punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, or
any act of juvenile delinquency involving the use or carrying
of a firearm, knife, or destructive device that would be
punishable by imprisonment for such term if committed by an
adult, that -
(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened
use of physical force against the ...