United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Chattanooga
CHARLES A. ROBINSON, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee
R. MCDONOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Petitioner Charles A. Robinson's pro
se motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence
pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255 (Doc.
1, in Case No. 1:19-CV-211; Doc. 24, in Case No. 1:09-CR-15).
Respondent, United States of America, opposes
Petitioner's motion. (Doc. 4, in Case No. 1:19-CV-211.)
For the following reasons, the Court will
DENY Petitioner's § 2255 motion.
2009, Petitioner pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and
abetting the use, carrying, and brandishing of a firearm in
furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) and 2. (Doc.
18, at 1, in Case No. 1:09-CR-15.) The underlying crimes of
violence were two separate incidents of robbery in violation
of Title 18, U.S.C. § 1951, one on March 30, 2007, and
the other on May 8, 2007. (Doc. 1, in Case No. 1:09-CR-15.)
On September 24, 2009, United States District Judge Curtis L.
Collier sentenced Petitioner to a total of 384 months'
imprisonment and five years of supervised release. (Docs. 22,
23, in Case No. 1:09-CR-15.) Petitioner did not appeal.
22, 2019, Petitioner filed the instant § 2255 motion,
asserting that his § 924(c) convictions are
unconstitutional in light of United States v. Davis,
139 S.Ct. 2319 (2019), entitling him to relief under §
2255. (See generally Doc. 1, in Case No.
1:19-CV-211.) This motion is now ripe for the Court's
STANDARD OF REVIEW
obtain relief under § 2255, a petitioner must
demonstrate: “(1) an error of constitutional magnitude;
(2) a sentence imposed outside the statutory limits; or (3)
an error of fact or law . . . 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)). He “must clear a significantly higher
hurdle than would exist on direct appeal” and establish
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).
2255(f) places a one-year period of limitation on all
petitions for collateral relief under § 2255 which runs
from the latest of: (1) the date on which the judgment of
conviction becomes final; (2) the date on which the
impediment to making a motion created by governmental action
in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States
is removed, if the movant was prevented from making a motion
by such governmental action; (3) the date on which the right
asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if
that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and
made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review;
or (4) the date on which the facts supporting the claim or
claims presented could have been discovered through the
exercise of due diligence. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(f).
ruling on a motion made pursuant to § 2255, the Court
must also determine whether an evidentiary hearing is
necessary. “An evidentiary hearing is required unless
the record conclusively shows that the petitioner is entitled
to no relief.” Martin v. United States, 889
F.3d 827, 832 (6th Cir. 2018) (quoting Campbell v. United
States, 686 F.3d 353, 357 (6th Cir. 2012)); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b). “The burden for
establishing entitlement to an evidentiary hearing is
relatively light, and where there is a factual dispute, the
habeas court must hold an evidentiary hearing to
determine the truth of the petitioner's claims.”
Martin, 889 F.3d at 832 (quoting Turner v.
United States, 183 F.3d 474, 477 (6th Cir. 1999))
(internal quotation marks omitted). While a petitioner's
“mere assertion of innocence” does not entitle
him to an evidentiary hearing, the district court cannot
forego an evidentiary hearing unless “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. When petitioner's factual
narrative of the events is not contradicted by the record and
not inherently incredible and the government offers nothing
more than contrary representations, the petitioner is
entitled to an evidentiary hearing. Id.
threshold matter, Petitioner's motion is timely under
§ 2255(f)(3). Petitioner's motion relies on
Davis, which the Supreme Court decided on June 24,
2019, and Petitioner filed his petition on July 22, 2019,
well within the one-year limitation period. (Doc. 1.)
Accordingly, Petitioner's motion was timely filed.
contends that the Supreme Court ruled in Davis that
18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) was unconstitutionally
vague and, therefore, his two convictions under §
924(c)(1)(A)(ii) are invalid. (Doc. 1, at 4.) He further
argues that aiding and abetting under 18 U.S.C. § 2
relies on the residual clause in 924(c), rendering his
convictions unconstitutional in light of Davis.
(Id. at 5.) The Governments responds that the
Supreme Court invalidated § 924(c)(3)(B) as
unconstitutionally vague, but Petitioner was convicted under
924(c)(3)(A), and therefore Petitioner's convictions were
unaffected by Davis. (See generally Doc. 4,
in Case No. 1:19-CV-211.)
924(c) makes it a crime to use, carry, brandish, or discharge
a firearm “during and in relation to any crime of
violence or drug trafficking crime . . . .” 18 U.S.C.
§ 924(c)(1)(A). A ...