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U.S. v. RODRIGUEZ

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division


United States of America Plaintiff,
v.
Billy Rodriguez, a/k/a Billy Valentin Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON SHADUR, Senior District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

Billy Rodriguez a/k/a Billy Valentin ("Valentin")*fn1 has filed a pro se 28 U.S.C. § 2255 ("Section 2255") motion to set aside and vacate the 292 month custodial sentence that this Court imposed on him some 11-1/2 years ago and that he is in the midst of serving.*fn2 Although Valentin has not provided a copy of his motion for service on the United States Attorney's office, that turns out to be unnecessary because the motion so clearly calls for its summary dismissal.

Because so many years have elapsed since Valentin was sentenced, his only prospect for escaping dismissal under the one-year period of limitation established by Section 2255 ¶ 6 would be to qualify under the third of the four alternatives set out in that paragraph, under which a new limitations clock would begin to tick on:

the date on which the right asserted was initially recognized by the Supreme Court, if that right has been newly recognized by the Supreme Court and made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review.
In that respect it is obvious that the prison grapevine has been operating overtime to suggest to long-ago-sentenced prisoners such as Valentin that they can somehow draw comfort from the Supreme Court's decision in Blakely v. Washington, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004).

  On that score Valentin fails for two fundamental reasons. First, nothing in Blakely suggests — and this Court continues to decline to hold — that its decision should be retroactively applicable to otherwise late-filed Section 2255 motions seeking collateral review. And second, even if that were not the case, the factor that set the Sentencing Guideline range of 292 to 365 months for Valentin was Guideline § 4B1.1(A)'s career offender provision — and in that regard Blakely (like the Apprendi case that preceded it) expressly teaches that a defendant's prior criminal history (the fact that triggered career offender status for Valentin) does not have to be submitted to a jury for determination.*fn3

  There is no need to address Valentin's numerous other contentions for two reasons. For one thing, several of them do not assert constitutional violations that could qualify for Section 2255 relief in any event. And as for those other contentions (if any) that could arguably implicate constitutional rights, they have long since been outlawed by Section 2255's one year limitation period.

  In summary, "it plainly appears from the face of the motion and any annexed exhibits and the prior proceedings in the case that the movant is not entitled to relief in the district court" (Rule 4(b) of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings for the United States District Courts). That being true, the same Rule 4(b) mandates summary dismissal of the motion. This Court so orders.


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