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United States v. Williams

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


December 7, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LARRY D. WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Larry Williams's pro se Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 501). Specifically, Williams seeks the appointment of counsel to assist in preparation of claims that he intends to file under 28 U.S.C. § 2255.

Petitioners under § 2255 have no constitutional right under the Sixth Amendment to representation because such proceedings "are not a part of an original criminal action but are an independent and collateral inquiry into the validity of the conviction." United States v. Caufield, 207 F.2d 278, 280 (7th Cir. 1953). With this in mind, "[i]t is firmly established that a request for counsel in proceedings under [§] 2255 is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court." McCartney v. U.S., 311 F.2d 475, 476 (7th Cir. 1963). However, even this deference is premised on the initial filing of a § 2255 petition. Here, Williams has yet to file a petition under § 2255; as such, the Court sees no reason to appoint counsel at this time.

Due to the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES the instant motion (Doc. 501).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20091207

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