United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Kareem A. Doctor, Petitioner,
United States of America, Respondent.
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner Kareem Doctor moves to vacate, set aside, or correct
his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (ECF No. 86). The
Court has thoroughly reviewed the record and finds the motion
suitable for disposition without an evidentiary hearing and
without a response from the Government. See §
2255(b). For the reasons set forth herein, the Court denies
pled guilty to a one-count indictment that charged him with
felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 922(g)(1). Subsequently, a probation officer prepared
a pre-sentence investigation report (“PSR”). The
PSR stated Doctor had two prior convictions for possession
with intent to distribute cocaine and another for strong-arm
robbery. The probation officer found those three convictions
constitute predicate offenses and therefore Doctor was
subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act's fifteen-year
mandatory minimum sentence. See 18 U.S.C. §
objected to the PSR. He argued that, after Johnson v.
United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), his prior robbery
conviction did not constitute a “violent felony”
and therefore was not a predicate offense. See 18
U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B). The Court disagreed and, applying
the ACCA, sentenced Doctor to the mandatory minimum fifteen
years in prison. Doctor appealed, challenging the Court's
decision about his robbery conviction. The Fourth Circuit
States v. Doctor, 842 F.3d 306 (4th Cir. 2016). The
Supreme Court denied certiorari. Doctor v. United
States, 137 S.Ct. 1831 (2017) (mem).
filed his § 2255 motion on August 10, 2017.
proceeds under § 2255(a), which provides, in relevant
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.
bears the burden of proving the grounds for collateral attack
by a preponderance of the evidence. See 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.” § 2255(b).
Court applies those standards recognizing that pro
se filings are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys, Gordon v. Leeke, 574
F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and that it must liberally
construe pro se filings to allow the development of
a potentially meritorious case, see Hughes v. Rowe,
449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980). The liberal construction requirement,
however, does not mean the Court can ignore a clear failure
to allege facts that set forth a cognizable claim. See
Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391
(4th Cir. 1990).
ACCA mandates that “a person who violates [18 U.S.C.
§] 922(g) . . . and has three previous convictions . . .
for a violent felony or a serious drug offense, or both,
committed on occasions different from one another . . . shall
be fined . . . and imprisoned not less than fifteen
years.” § 924(e)(1). Doctor appears to be arguing
that he does not have the required three “convictions .
. . committed on occasions ...