United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Margaret B. Seymour Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court on Movant Nathaniel Hallman's
motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 206.
April 6, 2005, a federal grand jury returned a two-count
indictment charging Movant with being a felon in possession
of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) (Count One); and possession with intent
to distribute a quantity of marijuana, in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(D) (Count Two). ECF No. 1. On
August 2, 2006, a federal grand jury returned a three-count
superseding indictment that, in addition to the two counts
charged in the original indictment, charged intent to
distribute five grams or more of cocaine base, in violation
of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B) (Count Three). ECF
October 2, 2006, the court held a plea hearing in accordance
with Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. ECF
No. 94. At the hearing, Movant pleaded guilty pursuant to a
written plea agreement to Counts One and Three of the
superseding indictment. ECF Nos. 93, 94. On March 29,
2007, the court sentenced Movant. ECF No. 109. On Count One,
Movant faced a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years.
See 18 U.S.C. § 942(a)(2). On Count Three,
Movant faced a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten
years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
See 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B). Movant's
guidelines range was 262 to 327 months under the United
States Sentencing Guidelines. At sentencing, the Government
withdrew its § 851 enhancement based on Movant's
prior felony drug conviction, thereby reducing the sentencing
guidelines range to 188 to 235 months of imprisonment. ECF
Nos. 111, 113. In applying the United States Sentencing
Guidelines, the court sentenced Movant as a “Career
Offender” pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1, based on
his prior convictions in South Carolina state court for
possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and for
voluntary manslaughter. ECF No. 111 at 6-7. The court
sentenced Movant to a term of imprisonment of 188 months,
which consisted of 120 months as to Count One and 188 months
as to Count Three, such terms to run concurrently. ECF No.
112. Judgment was entered on April 3, 2007. Id.
Movant did not file an appeal. On May 5, 2011, the court,
pursuant to the Government's Rule 35(b) motion, reduced
Movant's sentence to a term of imprisonment of 151
months, which consisted of 120 months as to Count One and 151
months as to Count Three, such terms to run concurrently. ECF
22, 2016, the court issued an order appointing the Federal
Public Defender to represent Movant with respect to reviewing
this action for potential claims arising from Johnson v.
United States, 576 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), and,
if appropriate, handling matters related to the filing of a
Johnson motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255.
ECF No. 203. Movant's attorney entered her appearance in
this matter on June 24, 2016. ECF No. 208. Upon authorization
from the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Movant
filed a successive § 2255 motion the same day. ECF No.
206. In the motion, Movant seeks the benefit of
Johnson, in which the Supreme Court held that the
“residual clause” of the Armed Career Criminal
Act is unconstitutionally vague. He argues that
Johnson applies with equal force to the United
States Sentencing Guidelines under which he was sentenced,
and that his prior conviction for voluntary manslaughter does
not qualify as a predicate offense under the “residual
clause” of U.S.S.G. § 4B1.2(a)(2). ECF No. 206 at
1. The Government filed a motion for summary judgment on July
25, 2016, ECF Nos. 209, 210, and Movant filed a reply on
August 22, 2016, ECF No. 215.
appears from the Federal Bureau of Prisons website that
Movant was subsequently released from custody on February 10,
2017. However, as part of his sentence, Movant is subject to
three and four years of supervised release, to run
concurrently. ECF Nos. 112, 169; see ECF No. 206 at
2. Accordingly, Movant remains in custody for the purpose of
his § 2255 motion. Maleng v. Cook, 490 U.S.
488, 491 (1989); United States v. Pregent, 190 F.3d
279, 283 (4th Cir. 1999).
Johnson, the Supreme Court addressed the Armed
Career Criminal Act of 1984 (ACCA), which 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.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B), the term “violent
any crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one
year . . . that-
(i) has 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.
Johnson, the Court determined that the language
“or otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious
potential risk of physical injury to another, ” known
as the residual clause, is unconstitutionally vague.
received an enhanced sentence not under the ACCA, but under
the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which define ...