United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY United States District Judge
prisoners Marvin Eugene Bradley moves to vacate, set aside,
or correct his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No.
60). Previously, the Court stayed proceedings pending the
Fourth Circuit's decision in United States v.
Doctor. Now that the Fourth Circuit has issued that
decision, this Court now lifts the stay and, for the reasons
stated herein, denies Bradley's § 2255
2009, Bradley pled guilty to two counts of possession with
intent to distribute controlled substances. See 21
U.S.C. § 841(a), (b). At that time, his criminal history
included a conviction in South Carolina state court for armed
robbery and a federal-court drug conviction. At
sentencing, the Court determined those prior convictions made
Bradley a career offender under the United States Sentencing
Guidelines. See U.S.S.G. §§ 4B1.1,
4B1.2(a) (2008). After granting a request by the Government
to depart downward, see U.S.S.G. § 5K1.1, the
Court sentenced Bradley to 108 months in prison on each
count, to be served concurrently. Bradley did not appeal.
2016, Bradley filed his § 2255 motion, in which he
asserted that his career-offender designation is
unconstitutional under Johnson v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 2551 (2015). In lieu of a response, the Government
filed a motion to stay proceedings pending the Supreme
Court's decision in Beckles v. United States,
616 F. App'x 415 (11th Cir. 2015), cert.
granted, 2016 WL 1029080 (U.S. June 27, 2016) (No.
15-8544). After Bradley filed a response in opposition to the
Government's motion, the Court granted the
Government's request, with a slight modification.
Although the Court agreed with the Government that
Beckles may control the outcome of Bradley's
§ 2255 motion, the Court also found that the Fourth
Circuit's then-pending decision in Doctor was
also likely to control the outcome. Accordingly, the Court
stayed proceedings until both cases were decided.
Fourth Circuit issued its decision in Doctor on
November 21. Having carefully analyzed that opinion, this
Court finds that it need not wait for Beckles in
order to rule on Bradley's § 2255 motion.
Accordingly, it now lifts the stay.
proceeds under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, which provides, in
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 . . . may move the
court which imposed the sentence to vacate, set aside or
correct the sentence.
28 U.S.C. § 2255(a). On a motion to vacate, set aside,
or correct a sentence under § 2255, the petitioner bears
the burden of proving the grounds for collateral attack by a
preponderance of the evidence. Miller v. United
States, 261 F.2d 546, 547 (4th Cir. 1958). In deciding a
§ 2255 motion, the district court need not hold a
hearing if “the motion and the files and records of the
case conclusively show that the prisoner is entitled to no
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 2255(b).
the Sentencing Guidelines, a defendant is a career offender
(1) the defendant was at least eighteen years old at the time
the defendant committed the instant offense of conviction;
(2) the instant offense of conviction is a felony that is
either a crime of violence or a controlled substance offense;
and (3) the defendant has at least two prior felony
convictions of either a crime of violence or a controlled
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1(a). Bradley's motion focuses solely
on the third element. Although Bradley concedes his prior
federal drug conviction is a predicate controlled substance
offense, he argues his armed-robbery conviction cannot
constitute a “crime of violence.” See
U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a) (defining that term). Thus, he
contends, he does not ...