United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
October 13, 2005.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
JOHN THOMAS VEYSEY III.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: REBECCA PALLMEYER, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
John Veysey has moved pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 for a
reduction of his lengthy sentence. Veysey was convicted of 15
counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud, one count of
arson, and one count of committing a federal felony with fire.
This court imposed consecutive sentences for these offenses. The
total sentence did not exceed the statutory maximum and was
consistent with the then-binding Sentencing Guidelines because,
under U.S.S.G. § 2F1.1, the court employed the homicide guideline
for a determination of the appropriate range. As the Seventh
Circuit observed on Veysey's direct appeal, "[b]ecause Veysey's
remarkable spree included murder as well as attempted murder,
multiple arsons, and multiple frauds, the guideline sentence
would have been life." United States v. Veysey, 334 F.3d 606,
602 (7th Cir. 2003).
Veysey's § 2255 petition challenges his sentence as a violation
of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000). He made the
same argument on direct appeal, however, and the Seventh Circuit
rejected it. Veysey is not entitled to raise this same issue by
way of a post-conviction petition in the absence of changed
circumstances, Olmstead v. United States, 55 F.3d 316, 319 (7th
Cir. 1995), and he does not suggest any changed circumstances
here. The Supreme Court's more recent decision in United States
v. Booker, ___ U.S. ___, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005) arguably gives
Veysey's argument more traction: Booker held that "defendants
have a right to a jury trial on any disputed factual subject that
increases the maximum punishment, and that the federal Sentencing
Guidelines come within this rule to the extent that their operation is mandatory." See
McReynolds v. United States, 397 F.3d 479, 480 (7th Cir. 2005)
(summarizing Booker). The Seventh Circuit concluded in
McReynolds, however, that Booker's "new rule about the
federal system" does not apply retroactively to cases which, like
Veysey's, were finally decided before Booker's January 12, 2005
issuance. Id. at 481.
This court concludes that, until and unless the Supreme Court
holds Booker applicable on collateral review, Veysey has no
avenue for relief. His petition is denied.
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