Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Outen

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

May 25, 2017

United States of America,
v.
Alfred Outen, III, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge.

         On June 16, 2016, Defendant filed a pro se motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 to vacate his sentence in light of Johnson v. United States, 576 U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015) and Welch v. United States, 578 U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016). ECF No. 1361. The Government filed a motion to dismiss and a memorandum in support/response in opposition to Defendant's § 2255 motion. ECF No. 1388. Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised Defendant of the response procedure and the consequences if he failed to respond. ECF No. 1389. The Government filed additional attachments to its motion to dismiss on July 28, 2016. ECF No. 1394. Defendant wrote a letter to the court, inquiring as to the reason for the Roseboro order, as he did not know “why the Government filed this motion against me.” ECF No. 1400. The Clerk of Court responded by letter, noting the Roseboro order was sent because the Government filed a motion to dismiss his § 2255 motion. ECF No. 1401. Defendant did not file a response, and the time to do so has expired.

         I. Background

         On February 8, 2009, Defendant entered into a written plea agreement to plead guilty to counts 1 and 13 of the Superseding Indictment: conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and possession of a firearm during and in connection with a drug trafficking crime, respectively. ECF No. 618. As a part of the plea agreement, one Information pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 851 was dropped, and Defendant waived his right to file a motion for relief under § 2255 except as to claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and/or prosecutorial misconduct. Thereafter, Defendant appeared before this court and pled guilty. ECF No. 626.

         A Pre-Sentence Report (PSR) concluded Defendant had two prior felony convictions for controlled substance offenses: a 2001 conviction for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and a 2003 conviction for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.[1] ECF No. 857 ¶¶ 55, 61. Therefore, he was classified as a career offender pursuant to U.S.S.G. §4B1.1(b). Defendant's guideline range for count 1 was 262-327 months, with a six month consecutive sentence required for count 13.

         On July 13, 2010, Defendant appeared for sentencing. ECF No. 852. The court sentenced Defendant to 322 months imprisonment, consisting of 262 months on count 1 and 60 months on count 13, to be served consecutively. ECF No. 854.

         II. Johnson and Beckles

         On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) violates due process as it “denies fair notice to defendants and invites arbitrary enforcement by judges.” 576 U.S. at __, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015). By holding the ACCA residual clause unconstitutionally vague, the Court narrowed the predicate offenses that could serve to enhance a sentence to those that qualify under the enumerated or force clauses. The ACCA residual clause can no longer support a defendant's classification as an armed career criminal. On April 18, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Welch v. United States, 578 U.S. __, 136 S.Ct. 1257 (2016), holding that the newly established right recognized in Johnson is retroactive to cases on collateral review.

         On March 6, 2017, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Beckles, holding “the advisory Guidelines are not subject to vagueness challenges under the Due Process clause.” Beckles, 580 U.S. __, 137 S.Ct. 886, 890 (2017). Therefore, the residual clause in §4B1.2(a)(2) of the former sentencing guidelines[2] is not void for vagueness. Id. at 892.

         III. Discussion

         Defendant has two predicate convictions that qualify him for the career offender enhancement, and both are controlled substance offenses. Johnson and Welch deal with the ACCA's definition of violent felony, and Beckles concerns the career offender guideline's definition of crime of violence. None of these cases address predicate convictions based on drug offenses. Accordingly, Defendant has two qualifying predicate drug offenses for the career offender enhancement and is not entitled to relief.

         Further, because Johnson and Beckles do not apply to Defendant's case, his motion is untimely. A 1-year period of limitation applies to motions under § 2255.

         The limitation period shall run from the latest of--

(1) the date on which the judgment of conviction becomes ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.