United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
GERALD L. CAMPBELL, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
S. MATTICE, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Gerald L.
Campbell's motion to vacate, set aside, or correct
sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and the United
States' motion to deny and dismiss same. Having
considered the pleadings and the record, along with the
relevant law, the Court finds that it is unnecessary to hold
an evidentiary hearing in this matter. The United States'
motion to deny the petition and dismiss this action will be
RELEVANT BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
1995, Gerald Campbell was convicted of possessing with intent
to distribute crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §
841(a)(1)(C), using and carrying a firearm during and in
relation to a drug-trafficking crime in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 924(c), and possessing a firearm as a felon in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) [See, e.g.,
Doc. 119 in No. 1:93-CR-19]. His United States Sentencing
Guidelines (“Guideline(s)”) range was 210 to 262
months' imprisonment for the drug offense, followed by a
consecutive mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months'
imprisonment for the § 924(c) offense, which resulted in
a Guideline range of 270 to 322 months [Id.].
Campbell's Guideline range was based, in part, on his
career-offender classification under Guideline § 4B1.2
for his prior Tennessee convictions for robbery and
aggravated assault [See Doc. 140 in 1:93-CR-19].
Campbell was sentenced to 300 months' imprisonment
[Id.]. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on
appeal [Doc. 73 in No. 1:93-CR-19]. See United States v.
Campbell, No. 95-5191, 1995 WL 699614, at *1 (6th Cir.
Nov. 27, 1995).
Campbell filed an unsuccessful motion to reduce his sentence
under 18 U.S.C. § 3582 [Docs. 84, Doc. 101, and 103],
and a § 2255 motion that was denied as time-barred [Doc.
105, 110, and 111].
2016, Campbell sought and obtained authorization from the
Sixth Circuit to file a successive § 2255 motion to
contest the propriety of his career-offender classification
in light of Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551
(2015), which invalidated the residual clause of the Armed
Career Criminal Act as unconstitutionally vague.
Johnson, 135 S.Ct. at 2563 [Doc. 140 in 1:93-CR-19].
The Sixth Circuit also directed this Court to hold the motion
in abeyance pending the Supreme Court's decision in
Beckles v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 886 (2017),
regarding whether Johnson applied to the Guidelines
and applied retroactively on collateral review
March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in
Beckles, holding that the advisory sentencing
Guidelines are not subject to vagueness challenges under the
Due Process Clause. Beckles, 137 S.Ct. at 895. Based
on Beckles, the United States filed a motion to deny
Campbell' § 2255 motion and dismiss this action with
prejudice [Doc. 3].
defendant has been convicted and exhausted his appeal rights,
a court may presume that “he stands fairly and finally
convicted.” United States v. Frady, 456 U.S.
152, 164 (1982). A court may grant relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255, but the statute “does not encompass all
claimed errors in conviction and sentencing.”
United States v. Addonizio, 442 U.S. 178, 185
(1979). Rather, collateral attack limits a movant's
allegations to those of constitutional or jurisdictional
magnitude, or those containing factual or legal errors
“so fundamental as to render the entire proceeding
invalid.” Short v. United States, 471 F.3d
686, 691 (6th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
claims that his career-offender enhancement was necessarily
based upon Guideline § 4B1.2's residual clause,
which Johnson invalidated. However, the Supreme
Court has explicitly held that the Guidelines are not subject
to vagueness challenges, and that § 4B1.2's residual
clause is not void for vagueness. Beckles v. United
States, 137 S.Ct. 886, 895 (2017). Therefore,
Beckles conclusively forecloses Campbell' claim
that the Guidelines provision considered in his sentencing is
unconstitutionally vague. Accordingly, Johnson's
reasoning does not invalidate Campbell's career-offender
classification, and Campbell has failed to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY
considering a § 2255 motion, this Court must
“issue or deny a certificate of appealability when it
enters a final order adverse to the applicant.” Rule 11
of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the
United States District Courts. Campbell must obtain a COA
before he may appeal the denial of his § 2255 motion. 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(B). A COA will issue “only if
the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of
a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
For cases rejected on their merits, a movant “must
demonstrate that reasonable jurists would find the district
court's assessment of the constitutional claims debatable
or wrong” to warrant a COA. Slack v. McDaniel,
529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). To obtain a COA on a claim that has
been rejected on procedural grounds, a movant must
demonstrate “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.” Id. Based
on the Slack criteria, the Court finds that a COA
should not issue in this cause.