United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Respondent.
STANLEY D. PARTMAN, a/k/a Goat, Defendant-Petitioner.
F. Anderson, Jr., United States District Judge
Stanley D. Partman (“Partman” or
“Petitioner”) has filed a motion to vacate, set
aside, or correct his sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2255 (“§ 2255”). (ECF No. 1073).
was charged in five counts. In Count 1, he was charged with
conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to
distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), and 846. (ECF No. 914 p. 1). In Count
2, Partman was charged with possession with intent to
distribute cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C). (ECF No. 914 p. 1). In Count 37,
Partman was charged with using a telephone to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base,
aiding and abetting, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b)
and 18 U.S.C. § 2. (ECF No. 914 p. 2). In Count 70, he
was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a
drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
924(c). (ECF No. 914 p. 2). In Count 71, he was charged with
using a telephone to distribute and possess with intent to
distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and aiding and abetting,
in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 843(b) and 18 U.S.C. §
2. (ECF No. 914 p. 2). A verdict of guilty as to Counts 1, 2,
3, 70, and 71 of the Amended Second Superseding Indictment
(ECF No. 776) was returned on November 29, 2012. (ECF No. 914
October 18, 2012, this Court held jury selection for
Partman's case. See (ECF Nos. 711-13). On
November 15, Partman filed a motion to disqualify the jury
panel because he entered the court in pants the detention
center had issued to him. (ECF No. 742). On November 16, the
Government responded in opposition. (ECF No. 747). On
November 26, 2012, this Court held an evidentiary hearing
where it questioned each juror individually to determine
whether any juror had noticed the clothing Partman was
wearing at jury selection. See (ECF No. 779 p. 3).
Of the fourteen (14) jurors questioned, only two (2) recalled
that Partman had worn a “jumpsuit” or
“correction-issued pants, ” and the Court excused
these two jurors. (ECF No. 779 p. 3). On November 28, 2012,
this Court denied Partman's Motion. (ECF No. 779).
Thereafter, Partman proceeded to trial and was convicted on
March 18, 2013, the United States Probation Office issued a
final presentence investigation report (“PSR”) as
to Partman. (ECF No. 914). The PSR noted that this Court
could impose a “2-level enhancement for obstruction of
justice based upon the defendant feigning incompetence, as
well as his numerous attempts to disrupt trial
proceedings.” (ECF No. 914 p. 27). The PSR stated that
Partman's total offense level was 42; his criminal
history was Category II; and his probation eligibility was
“Prohibited.” (ECF No. 914-1 p. 1).
Court sentenced Partman to a total term of 396 months. He
received 336 months for Count 1; he received 240 months for
Count 2; he received 48 months each as to Counts 37 and 71,
to run concurrently; and he received 60 months as to Count
70, to run consecutively to all other terms. (ECF No. 905 p.
2). Judgment was entered on March 15, 2013. (ECF No. 905).
Partman subsequently filed a notice of appeal (ECF No. 908)
on the same day. Partman appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court
of Appeals. See United States v. Partman, 568 F.
App'x 205 (4th Cir. 2014). On appeal, Partman contended
that “a new trial was required because his appearance
in prison-issued clothing prejudiced the jury” and that
acquittal was required because “there was insufficient
evidence to support his 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)
conviction.” Id. at 208. Partman also argued
that “the sentencing enhancement was unwarranted
because his noncompliance and in-court disruptions did not
rise to the level of obstruction of justice.”
Id. The Fourth Circuit, however, affirmed all of
this Court's rulings. Id. at 213-14. Thereafter,
Partman filed a petition for writ of certiorari, and the
Supreme Court of the United States denied the Petition on
November 17, 2014. Partman v. United States, 135
S.Ct. 690 (2014).
November 9, 2015, Partman filed the current motion to vacate,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. On May 31, 2016, Partman
filed a supplemental §2255 motion (ECF No. 1141), and he
filed another supplemental motion (ECF No. 1157) on August 1,
filed his original § 2255 motion on November 9, 2015.
(ECF No. 1073). On December 14, 2015, the Government filed a
motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 1092). Two days later,
the Court sent Partman a Roseboro order. (ECF No.
1093). On January 25, 2016, Partman filed a response in
opposition to the Government's Motion. (ECF No. 1107).
That same day, Partman filed a motion to amend his original
§ 2255 motion. (ECF No. 1108). The Court granted
Partman's Motion to Amend, which gave Partman “21
days from [the] order to file a new § 2255 petition
containing an amendment to add an allegation.” (ECF No.
31, 2016, Partman filed his supplemental § 2255
petition. (ECF No. 1141). On June 29, 2016, Partman filed
another motion, this time a motion for leave to file a §
2255 action raising a Johnson issue. (ECF No. 1151).
On July 8, 2016, the Court issued an order granting
Partman's Motion. (ECF No. 1152). The Order stated the
following: “[a]ny supplements to the Johnson
amendment must be filed within 21 days of this order.”
Id. The Order also stated that “[n]o further
amendments may be made to the defendant's claims filed
with his original § 2255 petition.” Id.
August 1, 2016, Partman filed his second supplemental §
2255 petition. (ECF No. 1157). On September 20, 2016, the
Government responded in opposition (ECF No. 1167) and filed
another motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 1168). The Court
sent Partman another Roseboro order on January 10,
2017. (ECF No. 1180). On February 8, 2017, Partman responded
in opposition to the Government's Motion for Summary
Judgment. (ECF No. 1182).
reasons below, the Petitioner's § 2255 Motion is
denied, and the Government's Motion for Summary Judgement
U.S.C. § 2255
in federal custody may attack the validity of their sentences
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. In order to move the court
to vacate, set aside, or correct a sentence under §
2255, a defendant/petitioner must prove that one of the
following occurred: (1) a sentence was imposed in violation
of the Constitution or laws of the United States; (2) the
court was without jurisdiction to impose such a sentence; (3)
the sentence was in excess of the maximum authorized by law;
or (4) the sentence is otherwise subject to collateral
attack. 28 U.S.C. § 2255(a).
judgment “should be rendered if the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2). The movant has
the burden of proving that summary judgment is appropriate.
Once the movant makes the showing, however, the opposing
party must respond to the Motion with “specific facts
showing a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
genuine issue of any material fact exists, summary judgment
is appropriate. See Shealy v. Winston, 929 F.2d
1009, 1011 (4th Cir. 1991). In deciding a motion for summary
judgment, the facts and inferences to be drawn from the
evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Id. However, “the mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties
will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for
summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine
issue of material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).
the moving party has met [its] burden, the nonmoving party
must come forward with some evidence beyond the mere
allegations contained in the pleadings to show that there is
a genuine issue for trial.” Baber v. Hospital Corp.
of Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992). The
nonmoving party may not rely on beliefs, conjecture,
speculation, or conclusory allegations to defeat a motion for
summary judgment. See Id. Rather, the nonmoving
party is required to submit evidence of specific facts by way
of affidavits, depositions, interrogatories, or admissions to
demonstrate the existence of a genuine and material factual
issue for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986).
Partman's Original § 2255 Petition
Claim of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel.
(ECF No. 1073-1 p. 1). The Sixth Amendment right to counsel
is “the right to the effective assistance of
counsel.” McMann v. Richardson, 397 U.S. 759,
771 n.14 (1970). To successfully challenge a sentence on the
basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, the Defendant
must demonstrate (1) that his counsel's performance fell
below an objective standard of reasonableness; and (2) that
he was prejudiced by his counsel's deficient performance.
See Sharpe v. Bell, 593 F.3d 372, 382 (4th Cir.
2010); Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687
(1984). With respect to the first prong, there is “a
strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls within
the wide range of reasonable professional assistance.”
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 689. A reviewing court must
be highly deferential in scrutinizing counsel's
performance and must filter from its analysis the distorting
effects of hindsight. Id. at 688-89.
addition to showing ineffective representation, the Defendant
must also show “that there is a reasonable probability
that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result
of the proceeding would have been different. A reasonable
probability is a probability sufficient to undermine
confidence in the outcome.” Id. at 694.
“The likelihood of a different result must be
substantial, not just conceivable.” Harrington v.
Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 112 (2011) (citing
Strickland, 466 U.S. at 693).
alleges six (6) different grounds for his claim of
ineffective assistance of counsel. See (ECF No.
1073-1). Each is addressed below, and each is without merit.
Partman's Clothing at Jury Selection
alleges that he suffered prejudice because the jurors saw him
dressed in detention-center pants at jury selection.
Specifically, he states that “[c]ounsel's failure
to object to the obvious prison attire and request a change
of clothes fell below a professional standard of
reasonableness.” (ECF No. 1073-1 p. 3).
have, with few exceptions, determined that an accused should
not be compelled to go to trial in prison or jail clothing
because of the possible impairment of the presumption so
basic to the adversary system.” Estelle v.
Williams, 425 U.S. 501, 505 (1976). Thus, in some cases,
“[t]he physical appearance of a defendant while in the
presence of the jury may adversely affect the presumption of
innocence.” Chavez v. Cockrell, 310 F.3d 805,
808 (5th Cir. 2002) (citing Estelle, 425 U.S. at
defendant, however, does not suffer actual prejudice simply
because jurors see him or her in prison attire. See
United States v. Jackson, 423 F. App'x 329, 331 (4th
Cir. 2011) (finding that a defendant was not prejudiced when
members of the jury observed defendant wearing a “jail
jumpsuit and shackles”); United States v.
Lattner, 385 F.3d 947, 959 (6th Cir. 2004) (finding that
defendant was not prejudiced where jurors briefly observed
defendant in handcuffs); United States v.
Halliburton, 870 F.2d 557 (9th Cir. 1989) (finding no
prejudice where jurors briefly and inadvertently observed
defendant in handcuffs outside the courtroom). “There
must be a showing . . . that the defendant suffered actual
prejudice as a result of such knowledge.” United
States v. Leon, 33 F. App'x 690, 691 (4th Cir.
prejudice is shown if the defendant can establish an
unreliable or fundamentally unfair outcome to his
proceeding.” Leon, 33 F. App'x at 691
(citing United States v. Squillacote, 221 F.3d 542,
575 (4th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 971
(2001)). The “most certain method” for
determining whether actual prejudice resulted from
jurors' observations is to “conduct a voir
dire” of the jurors. See Halliburton, 870 F.2d
at 561; Chavez v. Cockrell, 310 F.3d 805, 809 (5th
Cir. 2002) (finding no prejudice where defendant was startled
by the inadvertent activation of his stun belt in the
presence of the jury and where the trial judge subsequently
interviewed each individual juror and determined jurors could
remain fair and impartial); United States v. Pina,
844 F.2d 1, 8 (1st Cir. 1988) (finding jurors'
observation of defendant wearing handcuffs did not result in
actual prejudice where judge subsequently questioned jurors
and jurors insisted they could remain impartial). If a juror
would not “recognize the clothing as issued by a jail,
” then there is no prejudice. See United States v.
Leonesio, No. 88-1276, 1990 WL 95397, at *2 (9th Cir.
Jul. 11, 1990) (citing Jeffers v. Ricketts, 832 F.2d
476, 481 (9th Cir. 1987)).
Partman appeared for jury selection in an untucked
button-down shirt and red pants; the red pants were issued by
a detention facility. (ECF No. 779). Partman's pants were
not exposed to the jury. Id. While Partman was
seated at the counsel's table in the courtroom,
“members of the jury panel would not have been able to
observe [Partman's] lower body and red pants.”
Id. at 2. Although Partman once attempted to stand,
he was quickly seated. Id. at 3.
Court's Order denying Partman's attempt to disqualify
the jury, the Court stated the following:
On the day of trial, and before trial began, this Court
brought each juror (including both alternates) separately
into the courtroom. This Court then asked each juror whether
he or she remembered anything about [Partman's] attire on
the day in question. Of the fourteen jurors questioned, only
two recalled that [Partman] wore a “jumpsuit” or
“correction-issued pants.” The Court excused
these jurors from service as a result. Notably, nine jurors
had no recollection of [Partman's] attire that day, two
remembered his shirt, and one asked whether [Partman] was
wearing “something orange.” Thus, in other words,
the twelve jurors which served in this case did not recall
that [Partman] was wearing red, prison-issued pants. The