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Randy Hughes v. United States of America

August 30, 2012

RANDY HUGHES, PETITIONER,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge:

Friday, 31 August, 2012 01:18:34 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

The Motion to Dismiss [d/e 8], filed by Respondent United States of America, is allowed for the following reasons.

I.

A.

On June 15, 2006, Petitioner Randy Hughes sold 0.3 grams of cocaine to a confidential source and an undercover agent. On June 16, 2006, Hughes sold 6.2 grams of crack cocaine to the same pair.

On March 18, 2009, a grand jury in the Central District of Illinois returned a single count indictment, alleging that Hughes distributed five or more grams of crack cocaine. On April 27, 2009, Hughes pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement.

In the plea agreement in his criminal case, Hughes waived his right to appeal the conviction and sentence, and the right to collaterally attack the conviction or sentence. See Plea Agreement [d/e 11], ¶¶ 9-10, in Case No. 09-cr-30028. The collateral attack waiver states the following:

The defendant also understands that he 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 he received ineffective assistance from his 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 the defendant's attorney have reviewed Section 2255, and the defendant understands his rights under the statute. Understanding those rights, and having thoroughly discussed those rights with the defendant's attorney, the defendant knowingly and voluntarily waives his 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 the defendant's counsel was made by the defendant alone notwithstanding any advice the defendant may or may not have received from the defendant's attorney regarding this right. Regardless of any advice the defendant's attorney may have given the defendant, in exchange for the concessions made by the United States in this plea agreement, the defendant hereby knowingly and voluntarily waives his right to collaterally attack the conviction and/or sentence. The rights waived by the defendant include his 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.

See id. at ¶ 10.

On September 14, 2009, Judge Jeanne E. Scott sentenced Hughes to 71 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release, and the written judgment was entered the following day.*fn1

B.

On March 8, 2011, Hughes filed his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [d/e 1] in the instant case. The Petition was filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, and Hughes named the Attorney General and his warden as respondents. The Court transferred the action to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina-the district where Hughes was confined-because, under Seventh Circuit precedent, only the district of confinement has jurisdiction over a § 2241 action. See Order of April 19, 2011 [d/e 3]. An Order was entered on October 31, 2011, transferring the case back to this district. See Order [d/e 5].

The Court announced its intent to recharacterize the Petition as a motion under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and provided Hughes the warnings required under Castro v. United States , 540 U.S. 375 (2003). See Order of Dec. 5, 2011 [d/e 6]; Text Order of Dec. 9, 2011. After Hughes failed to timely respond, the Court converted the Petition to a § 2255 filing, named the United States the Respondent, dismissed the warden and the ...


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