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Robinson v. United States

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

April 17, 2017

Christopher Robinson, Movant,
v.
United States of America, Respondent.

          ORDER AND OPINION

          Margaret B. Seymour Senior United States District Judge

         Movant Christopher Robinson is a federal inmate in custody of the Bureau of Prisons who currently is housed at FCI Petersburg Low in Petersburg, Virginia. On July 18, 2016, Movant filed a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On January 6, 1999, Movant pleaded guilty before the Honorable Dennis W Shedd to armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting the same, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a), 2113(d) and 2 (Count 1)); using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and aiding and abetting the same, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c)(1) and 2 (Count 4); carjacking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2119 (Count 7); and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) (Count 8). On October 7, 1999, Movant was sentenced to incarceration for a term of 421 months, consisting of 121 months as to Counts 1 and 7, to be served concurrently; 60 months as to Count 4 and 240 months as to Count 8, to be served consecutively to Counts 1 and 7 and to each other. Judgment was entered on October 19, 1999.

         On January 31, 2000, Movant filed a § 2255 motion, asserting that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because he was allowed to plead guilty to duplicate offenses (Counts 4 and 8) and because counsel failed to adequately explain the consequences of his decision to plead guilty. The government filed a motion for summary judgment on March 29, 2000. On May 3, 2000, Judge Shedd entered an order explaining that Count 4 was a firearms charge relating to the bank robbery and Count 8 was a firearms charge relating to the carjacking. Judge Shedd further observed that the transcript of the guilty plea demonstrated that Movant was adequately informed that he was subject to up to fifty years in prison. For these reasons, Judge Shedd issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of the government on May 2, 2000.

         On July 18, 2016, with permission from the Fourth Circuit, Movant filed a successive § 2255 motion seeking the benefit of of the United States Supreme Court's holding in Johnson v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015).[1] On August 16, 2016, Respondent United States of American filed a motion to dismiss. Also on August 16, 2016, the court issued an order pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), advising Movant of the dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately. Movant filed a response in opposition on November 21, 2016.

         II. DISCUSSION

         In Johnson, the Supreme Court interpreted a portion of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) that mandates an enhanced sentence for an offender convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, if the offender has three or more convictions for a serious drug offense or violent felony. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1), “a person who has three previous convictions by any court referred to in section 922(g)(1) of this title for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both, . . . shall be . . . imprisoned not less than fifteen years[.]” Under § 924(e)(2)(B), the term “violent felony” means:

any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year . . . that-
(i) has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another; or
(ii) is burglary, arson, or extortion, involves use of explosives, or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.

         In Johnson, the Court determined that the language known as the residual clause-i.e., “or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another”-is unconstitutionally vague.

         As noted hereinabove, Movant pleaded guilty to using or carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ...


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