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United States v. Williams

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


June 30, 2010

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES F. WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

SHOW CAUSE ORDER

James Williams was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine, and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. United States District Judge James L. Foreman sentenced Williams to life on the first conspiracy count, and 20 years on both of the other counts. Judgment was entered July 24, 2000.

In April 2008, Williams filed a letter asking the Court to reduce his sentence "in light of the recent retroactive Amendment 9 to the Guidelines" (Doc. 135). The undersigned Judge construed the letter as a motion to reduce Williams's sentence under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c), based on Amendment 706 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines which, in the wake of Kimbrough v. United States, 552 U.S. 85 (2007), reduced the offense levels applicable to certain crack cocaine offenses.

Pursuant to Administrative Order 102, the Federal Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent Williams for purposes of the motion to reduce sentence, and Assistant Federal Public Defender Daniel Cronin entered an appearance on Williams's behalf.

On June 29, 2010, Attorney Cronin moved the Court to allow him and his office to withdraw from that representation, noting that "counsel can discern no non-frivolous basis for seeking relief for Mr. Williams" (Doc. 144). The motion further explains that Williams's sentence of life imprisonment on Count 1 of his indictment was not based upon a drug quantity determination but rather upon a cross-reference to the first-degree murder guideline. Consequently, Mr. Williams's sentence of imprisonment does not change as a result of the application of Amendment 706. So, Attorney Cronin and the Federal Public Defender's Office can find no non-frivolous ground on which to pursue a sentence reduction on Williams's behalf.

The Court now DIRECTS James Williams -- by August 30, 2010 -- to file in this Court a response SHOWING CAUSE (that is, a valid reason) why the undersigned Judge should not grant the motion to withdraw (Doc. 144) and deny Williams's motion to reduce sentence (Doc. 135). The Court will permit Williams to file the show cause response pro se. Since the Court is granting Mr. Williams a significant amount of time within which to respond, it does not envision granting any extensions.

The Clerk of Court shall immediately mail a copy of this Order to Williams at the address contained on page 4 of Doc. 144 and make a staff notes entry when that has been done.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge

20100630

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