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Jacklyn Still v. United States of America

January 9, 2012

JACKLYN STILL, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

Wednesday, 09 January, 2013 10:53:49 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter is before the Court on the Motion of Petitioner, Jacklyn Still, to vacate, set aside, or correct her sentence pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 (d/e 1). In her plea agreement, Still validly waived the right to challenge her original sentence in a new action brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. Specifically, Still waived her right to bring this separate claim for ineffective assistance of defense counsel as it relates to the sentence impose in the original criminal case of the United States v. Still, 3:11-cr-30016. Therefore, the Motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

On March 8, 2011, the Government filed a criminal complaint that alleged Jacklyn Still committed the crimes of knowingly and intentionally engaging in a scheme to defraud through the United States Mail (Count I), and knowingly engaging in a monetary transaction by, through, and to a financial institution, affecting interstate commerce, in criminally derived property of a value greater than $10,000 (Count II). United States v. Still, 3:11-cr-30016. On March 29, 2011, Still, represented by counsel, G. Ronald Kesinger, appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Cudmore. Facing a maximum sentence of 30 years' imprisonment on Count I, and 10 years' imprisonment on Count II, Still waived her right to the filing of an Indictment and, pursuant to a written plea agreement, pleaded guilty to both counts.

Still waived several rights in the plea agreement including: (1) her right to appeal any and all issues relating to her plea agreement, conviction, and sentence, and (2) her right to collaterally attack her sentence under 28 U.S.C § 2255. Specifically, Still's plea agreement provides that:

The Defendant is aware that federal law, specifically, Title 28, United States Code, Section 1291, affords a defendant a right to appeal a final decision of the district court and that federal law, specifically, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3742, affords a defendant a right to appeal the conviction and/or sentence imposed. Understanding those rights, and having thoroughly discussed those rights with her attorney, the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives the right to appeal any and all issues relating to this plea agreement . . . .

The defendant also understands that she has a right to attack the conviction and/or sentence imposed collaterally on the grounds that it was imposed in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States; that she received ineffective assistance from her attorney; that the Court was without proper jurisdiction; or that the conviction and/or sentence was otherwise subject to collateral attack. The defendant understands such an attack is usually brought through a motion pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255. The defendant and her attorney have reviewed Section 2255, and the defendant understands her rights under the statute. Understanding those rights, and having thoroughly discussed those rights with her attorney, the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives her right to collaterally attack the conviction and/or sentence. The defendant's attorney has fully discussed and explained the defendant's right to attack the conviction and/or sentence collaterally with the defendant. The defendant specifically acknowledges that the decision to waive the right to challenge any later claim of the ineffectiveness of her counsel was made by the defendant alone notwithstanding any advice the defendant may or may not have received from her attorney regarding this right. Regardless of any advice the defendant's attorney may have given her, in exchange for the concessions made by the United States in this plea agreement, the defendant hereby knowingly and voluntarily waives her right to collaterally attack the conviction and/or sentence. The rights waived by the defendant include the right to challenge the amount of any fine or restitution, in any collateral attack, including, but not limited to, a motion brought under Title 28, United States Code, Section 2255 excepting only those claims which relate directly to the negotiation of this waiver itself.

Plea Agreement at ¶¶ 11-12.

The Government's obligations under the agreement consisted of:

Bringing no additional criminal charges in the Central District of Illinois against the defendant relating to or arising from the offenses charged in this Information, except for any crime of violence, any crime unknown to the United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois prior to the time this plea agreement is signed by the parties, and any crime resulting from the hiding or transferring of assets to attempt to put them out of the reach of the court.

Plea Agreement at ¶ 22.

On March 29, 2012, Magistrate Judge Cudmore held a Rule 11 plea hearing in open court with Still under oath. Magistrate Judge Cudmore engaged in a colloquy during this hearing to advise Still of her rights and the rights she would waive if Still pleaded guilty. During this exchange Still stated that she knowingly and voluntarily made her decision to plead guilty. Tr. at 11-26. She also stated that she knowingly and voluntarily entered into the plea agreement that included waivers of her rights to appeal or collaterally attack her sentence and/or conviction. Tr. at 28-30.

Further, Still and counsel for both Parties stated that Still understood the hearing and proceedings against her. Tr. at 9-11. Still signed the plea agreement that same day. On April ...


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