United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY DISTRICT JUDGE
Eugene Bradley, a federal prisoner, moves to vacate, set
aside, or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255
(ECF No. 60). The United States (“Government”)
has filed a motion to stay this matter (ECF No. 65). For the
reasons stated herein, the Court grants the
§ 2255 motion is based on this Court sentencing Bradley
as a career offender under the United States Sentencing
Guidelines. See U.S.S.G. §§ 4B1.1,
4B1.2(a) (2008). The Court based that designation in part on
Bradley’s 1990 conviction in South Carolina state court
for armed robbery. Bradley argues that after Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), his
career-offender designation is unconstitutional and therefore
he must be resentenced. More specifically, Bradley contends
his armed robbery conviction cannot validly constitute a
predicate “crime of violence” under the residual
clause in § 4B1.2(a)(2) because Johnson has
held identical language to be unconstitutionally vague.
Bradley then contends his conviction cannot fall under the
remaining portions of § 4B1.2(a).
Government has not yet responded to Bradley’s motion.
Rather, it asks that the Court stay this matter until the
Supreme Court decides Beckles v. United States, No.
15-8544 (U.S.). The questions to be addressed in
Beckles include whether Johnson’s
holding applies to the residual clause in § 4B1.2(a)(2)
and whether Johnson applies retroactively to
collateral cases challenging sentences enhanced under that
residual clause. The Government argues that because the
Supreme Court’s answers to those questions will likely
control the outcome of Bradley’s § 2255 motion,
this Court should not go forward until Beckles is
decided. Several other members of this Court have agreed.
See United States v. Brice, No. 3:12-cr-850-CMC,
slip op. (D.S.C. Aug. 9, 2016); United States v.
Sheppard, No. 8:11-cr-816-HMH-1, slip op. (D.S.C. July
11, 2016); United States v. Carpenter, No.
3:07-cr-1521-JFA, slip op. (D.S.C. June 30, 2016); United
States v. Mason, No. 4:07-cr-1423-RBH, text order (July
argues the Court should not wait to see what the Supreme
Court may say in Beckles; instead, he urges this
Court to rule on the merits of his § 2255 motion now.
The Court questions, however, whether that would be in
Bradley’s best interest. To obtain relief, Bradley must
show his armed robbery conviction does not fall under either
of § 4B1.2(a)’s other two clauses-namely, the
enumerated-offense clause and the force clause. Judge Harwell
has ruled that South Carolina armed robbery is a violent
felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s
identically worded force clause. Barrentine v. United
States, No. 4:09-cr-953-RBH, 2013 WL 2635730, at *3
(D.S.C. June 12, 2013). Further, in South Carolina, common
law robbery is a lesser-included offense of armed robbery,
State v. Scipio, 322 S.E.2d 15, 16 (S.C. 1984), and
the undersigned recently held that South Carolina common-law
robbery falls under the ACCA’s force clause and thus
still constitutes a predicate violent felony even after
Johnson. United States v. Doctor,
2:13-cr-811-PMD, 2015 WL 8160764, at *4 (D.S.C. Dec. 7,
2015); see also Frye v. United States, No.
2:09-cr-291-DCN-1, 2012 WL 5549020, at *2 (D.S.C. Nov. 15,
2012) (holding South Carolina common-law robbery falls under
§ 4B1.2(a)’s force clause). If the Court were to
rule now, Doctor, Frye, and Barrentine
would counsel against granting Bradley relief. However,
Doctor is currently on appeal at the Fourth Circuit;
oral argument is set for next month. A reversal in
Doctor might benefit Bradley.
Court’s view, Beckles and Doctor both
have great potential to control the outcome in this matter.
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the
Government’s motion and STAYS this
matter until decisions are issued in both Beckles
and Doctor. The stay shall expire automatically once
both of those decisions are issued. However, once the first
of the two decisions is issued, Bradley and the Government
may move to lift the stay.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
 Bradley actually was convicted of two
counts of armed robbery, but because the sentences were both
imposed on the same day, they were treated as a single
conviction under the Guidelines. See U.S.S.G. §§
4A1.1(a)-(c), 4A1.2(a)(2), 4B1.2(c). Thus, in this Order, the
Court uses “conviction” to refer to both
 The Supreme Court granted certiorari
in Beckles on June 27, 2016, after Bradley filed his
§ 2255 motion. See 13 ...